Massachusetts Maritime Academy Has a Young Woman as its Regimental Commander

DARTMOUTH — For just the second time in Massachusetts Maritime Academy history, the school has a young woman as its Regimental Commander — and she is from Dartmouth.

In a late May Change of Command Ceremony, Mikayla Correia was named Regimental Commander, the highest ranking position a cadet can attain within the academy’s Regiment of the Cadets. “You have to learn followership to appreciate and understand your position as a leader,” said Correia, a member of the Class of 2018, explaining that is how freshman start out at the academy.

There are seven companies as part of residential life on campus, said Correia. Each company is run by junior and senior leadership. The leaders report to Correia and her regimental staff, overseeing the whole regiment. She and the staff are in the top supervisory role besides administration in running the cadets, she said, noting she is the second female in the academy’s history to have the position.

An international maritime business major, Correia said her studies will give her the opportunity to ship out as a civilian in the logistics industry, which is what she’s interested in. She cited internships she’s done in Panama, South Korea and Japan. She can also stay in America and work in insurance, accounting or finance, she said. 

A 2014 graduate of Dartmouth High School, she said she became interested in Mass Maritime in her senior year. “I really had no direction of what I wanted to do,” she said. However, when she saw what the academy had to offer, “It was everything that I needed. It was direction, it was structure.”

While the academy’s motto is “discipline, knowledge, leadership,” Correia shared a student mantra: either work hard for four years and party for the rest of their lives, or party for four years and work hard for the rest of their lives. The students choose the first one, she said, working hard first in order to seize opportunities that will come of their efforts.

Right from the start at a freshman two-week boot camp, “You become a part of something so much larger than yourself,” she said. “We’re so bonded together by these common experiences.”

In addition to her leadership abilities, Correia is an Emery Rice Scholar which earned her a full, four-year scholarship to the academy. Only five incoming students in her class of some 460 were afforded the honor. “I knew that I had to give back to the school in whatever way I could,” she said.

Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, USMS, Mass Maritime president said whether it was the selection committee, students, or others who have worked with Correia, “Everyone has seen the work she can do.” Dartmouth High grad Mikayla Correia named Regimental Commander at MMA.

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