Merchant Marine Bound


Taken by Jacob Bae at NJ 5th District Congressionally Nominated Student Ceremony

by Cole Tennant, Social Media Manager

Andrew is an intelligent and dedicated senior at Glen Rock High School and his post high school plans are a little different than others. Come July, Andrew Zimmerman will be shipping out on an exhilarating and prestigious adventure to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, NY. 

Zimmerman grew up in Glen Rock, starting kindergarten at Central School. Zimmerman’s parents were divorced through his childhood, yet they always supported him, along with his grandparents who were also very close to him. His mother resides in Glen Rock and father in Fair Lawn, and later, Park Ridge.  They always pushed Zimmerman to do his best and knew how talented he truly was. Zimmerman tried multiple sports growing up but decided to pursue wrestling as his main focus throughout high school. 

Zimmerman credits his father, Kieth Zimmerman, to be his number one supporter and role model for his military endeavors. “I always go to him when I need to talk, he pretty much believes I can do what I want, I can achieve anything I want.” 

Zimmerman said his interest and passion for the military and the will to serve started in middle school, which was backed by his father. “I think my dad inspired me a lot after I started talking to him about what I want to do. Because he always motivates me and pushes me to do everything the best I can.”

Throughout high school, Zimmerman has accomplished many different things, including being a volunteer firefighter, earning AP Scholar Award, student of the month and a congressional nomination from representative Josh Gottheimer to attend USMMA. 

In order to get an appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy, a student must get a congressional nomination from a member of Congress, either a senator or a district representative. The application process to get accepted into USMMA isn’t like your typical college application process, it is much longer and strenuous. Zimmerman has completed most of the process already and is just awaiting medical clearance. 

Once Zimmerman ships out he will be studying Maritime Logistics and Security. Some of the tasks that will be completed once he’s there include physical training, wearing uniforms daily, studying, living a regimental lifestyle and being attached to a US Naval boat for 350 days. Once he finishes his time at school he will have the option to either commission as a officer in the Merchant Marines or commision in active duty military.

Zimmerman is looking forward to this exciting adventure and has definitely earned it. When asked for some advice he said, “Work hard, stay focused and believe in yourself and you will achieve all your goals.”