MarAd to award Merchant Marine Medal to Thomas Cannon

The following is a statement from the U.S. Maritime Administration:

The Merchant Marine Medal for Outstanding Achievement is a decoration of the United States Merchant Marine awarded by the United States Maritime Administration. It was established in 2002 and is awarded to members of the maritime industry who have made extraordinarily valuable contributions to the merchant marine.  The medal has been authorized to those mariners who sailed on ships which provided humanitarian aid in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and just recently to the mariners who sailed on MSC ships for the Tsunami relief in 2005.

The award will be presented to Mr. Thomas F. Cannon on Friday 9 May at the MEBA School in Easton, MD.  He is receiving the award for his more than 50 years of service, dedication, and outstanding career achievements in the US maritime industry.

Thomas F. Cannon, MEBA retired member, is being recognized for his outstanding career achievements.  The following is a brief synopsis of his career:


        1.  Graduate United States Merchant Marine Academy (1955)

        2.  Sailing with American Export Lines as Third Engineer (1955-1957)

        3.  Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ – MS / Mechanical Engineering (1959-1962)

        4.  Consultant – Cannon Technical Services – designing and constructing automated cargo loading system for tanker Esso Trinidad  (1960-1963)

        5.  Senior Reactor Operator / Instrumentation Engineer aboard NS Savannah (1963-1966) (First Atomic Ship Transport – FAST)

        6.  Staff Instrumentation / Electronics Engineer with the shore staff (FAST) for the NS Savannah (1966-1968)

        7.  Refueling Superintendent (FAST) (1968-1969)

        8.  Chief Engineer NS Savannah (1969-1971)

        9.  Chief Engineer / First Engineer aboard various American Export Isbransten Lines (AEIL) break-bulk and container Steam vessels (1971-1973)

        10. Chief Engineer / First Engineer aboard AEIL large RO-RO Gas Turbine powered vessel USNS Callahgan (1973-1986)

        11. Port Engineer / Chief Engineer USNS Callahgan (1986-1988)

        12. Port Engineer SeaLand Services (1988-1988)

        13. Chief Engineer aboard various SeaLand vessel both Steam and Diesel powered (1988-1995)

        14. Marine Engineering Adjunct Instructor at Calhoon MEBA Engineering School and GMATS – Kings Point. (1996-present)


In his role as Adjunct instructor at the Calhoon MEBA Engineering School, Tom teaches Gas Turbines, Steam Engineering, Ship’s Management, Operations of Marine Power Plants, Upgrading Engineers-Management Level, Engineering License Prep, and Diesel Engineering.  He has also taught the Gas Turbine Course at GMATS.  Most marine engineers aspire to sail as Chief Engineer, it is the pinnacle of our maritime discipline.  Thomas Cannon has SAILED as CHIEF ENGINEER aboard vessels powered by Steam, Gas Turbine, Diesel and Nuclear plants. Now that he is retired from sailing, Tom has selflessly dedicated most of his time to passing on the lessons learned by his considerable experience to future generations of marine engineers. 


In light of Mr. Cannon’s forty years of active service, his unique career achievements and his continued dedication to the United States Merchant Marine as an educator, he is being awarded the Maritime Administrations “Outstanding Achievement” medal.  At a time when the United States Merchant Marine is poised to venture into new international employment opportunities, Thomas Cannon can serve as an example of the abilities of the American Mariner.

By Professional Mariner Staff