Four years ago, Lake Forest native, Kevin Berto, was
nominated by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk, with support
from then State Senator Susan Garrett, for admission to the United States
Merchant Marine Academy. Today, Captain Berto is the Midshipman at the top of the
chain of command at the Academy and is a
student majoring in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation.
As Regimental Commander, Midshipman Captain Kevin Berto is responsible for the daily performance of the entire population of Midshipmen and works with the Commandant’s Staff to develop and execute policy. He must set a high standard, then enforce that standard in the 700 men and woman under his command. At the Academy, Kevin is a member of the O’Gara Academic Honor Society and plays on the Division III club hockey team. In his early years, he served on the color guard and as an Experienced Drill Instructor for incoming plebe candidates. In his final term, he will serve on the Academy’s Regimental Honor Board.
Recently, Kevin was awarded the 2013 Richard A. Simpson Scholarship, sponsored by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute. Upon graduation in 2014, Kevin has accepted a direct commission as an officer with the U.S. Coast Guard.
The United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York is one of our Nation’s five federal service academies. The other four U.S. academies include the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs and the Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut.
Known for its rigorous academic program, the USMMA requires more credit hours for a baccalaureate science degree than any other Federal service academy and augments its rigorous classroom requirements with a year-at-sea experience. During his Sea Year, Kevin sailed in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman as a Military Sealift Command Deck Cadet on USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) and throughout the Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Middle East on a tanker, a Maersk Line car carrier, and two container ships.
Prior to college, Kevin graduated from Lake Forest Academy where he ran track and played varsity golf and hockey with the LF Academy Prep team. Growing up in Lake Forest, Kevin was a student at Forest Bluff School in Lake Bluff and played hockey with Falcons Hockey. As a middle school student, he won District 67s National Geographic Geography Bee. During his summers, Kevin attended Culver Military Academy’s Summer Naval School as part of the Naval Marching Band where he earned his Small Boat, Keelboat, and Coastal Navigation US Sailing certifications. His parents are Colleen Chandler of Lake Forest and J. Douglas Berto, also of Lake Forest.
The US Merchant Marine Academy educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers of exemplary character who can lead with integrity, honor, intelligence, dedication, and competence to serve America’s marine transportation and defense needs in peace and war. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ensures that such people are available to the nation as shipboard officers and as leaders in the transportation field who will meet the challenges of the present and the future. With a very large percent of the world's products transported over water, a strong merchant marine is an essential part of American security and sea power. These leaders are vital to the effective operation of our merchant fleet for both commercial and military transport during war and peace.