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Leading the Regiment

KINGS POINT, N.Y., October 18, 2021 - Each year, First Class Midshipmen are selected for leadership positions within the regiment. Arguably the two most important and influential positions are Regimental Commander (RC) and Regimental Executive Officer (RX). We had a chance to catch up with the first rotation RC and RX and ask them a few questions. We are pleased to introduce you today to Midshipman First Class Liam Pickett, Regimental Commander, and Midshipman First Class Kimberly Palace, Regimental Executive Officer.


Meet Midshipman Liam Pickett, Regimental Commander

Hi Liam, please tell us a little about yourself and where you are from?

My name is Liam Pickett and I am from Charlotte, NC. I am the oldest of four, with one brother and two sisters. I was nominated to the Academy by Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, as well as Congresswoman Alma Adams and Congressman Mark Meadows.

I am a Marine Engineering Systems Major. During my first sailing I was on the M/V Safmarine Mafadi traveling to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. My second sailing I was on the M/V Alliance Norfolk and traveled to several countries in the Middle East and India.

What brought you to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA)?

I came to USMMA because I knew I wanted to serve my country but did not know exactly what I wanted to do. Over the past three years, KP has afforded me the opportunity to figure that out.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time as RC?

During my time as RC, I hope to return the Academy to its normal state. We have regressed over the past two years due to COVID-19. I hope during my time as RC we will never return to the state of operation we were in during the 2020-2021 school year. To do this we must all work together and look towards the future to achieve all of our goals.

What sports or activities do you participate in?

I have been a member of the Men’s Lacrosse team since Plebe Year and I have been selected as one of the Captains for the team, this year.

What are your plans after graduation?

Upon graduation, I hope to be accepted into the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program working as a Naval Reactors Engineer or as a Submarine Officer.


Who do you consider your hero?

My dad is my hero. He has set the perfect example of what a man should be throughout his entire life. My dad has made so many sacrifices for our family and I cannot thank him enough. I truly would not be who I am or in the position I am today without him. If I am half the man that he is in life, I will be extremely fortunate


Meet Midshipman Kimberly Palace, Regimental Executive Officer

Hi Kimberly, please tell us a little about yourself and where you are from?

I am from a small town on the East Coast of Maryland called Grasonville. Living in Maryland, blue crabs and Old Bay are of course my favorite food. I graduated Kent Island High School in 2018, and was a three sport, varsity athlete. During my junior and senior year, I was a part of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Annapolis Division. While in the USNSCC, I developed a passion for the military lifestyle and started looking into the different Military Academies. I received a nomination to the United States Merchant Marine Academy from Representative Andy Harris. Through my time at USMMA, I have been studying Marine Engineering. During my Sea Year I was on the APL President F.D. Roosevelt and the Philadelphia Express. While at sea, I visited Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Germany, and England.

 What brought you to USMMA?

I found USMMA when searching for a place to pursue my dream to be in the military and to play basketball. Throughout my life I have watched container ships pass underneath the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and I never thought that I would be sailing on those same vessels. I was also drawn to USMMA by learning about the Sea Year experience, because I had never left the country before attending USMMA. Now, I have sailed across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and visited six different countries.


What do you hope to accomplish during your time as RX?

A big reason why I think the Class of 2022 is such a great class is because of the training by the Class of 2019. The Class of 2019 dedicated so much of their time to us, and taught us how to be amazing Kings Pointers. Therefore, my goal as RX is to leave the Class of 2025 with the same support and tools to become the best class at USMMA. I also hope during my time I have brought back a sense of "normalcy" to Kings Point after 2020 and the lockdown we encountered due to COVID-19.

 What sports or activities do you participate in?

I am the Founder and President of the Kings Point Open Seas Club. The purpose of the club is to promote inclusion on campus and provide resources for the LGBTQA+ community. I have also been a part of the Women's Basketball team since Plebe Year.

 What are your plans after graduation?

My plans after graduation are to, hopefully, commission into the United States Coast Guard and pursue a career involving engineering.

 Who would you consider your hero?

I would consider one of my hero's to be my Assistant Basketball Coach, Alexa Shields. Coach Shields is one of the most dedicated and determined people I know. She is the prime reason as to why I have a drive to better myself as a leader and a player on the basketball court every day.





The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Academy, which was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.


Last updated: Monday, October 18, 2021

Applications for the Class of 2026 Open May 1

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