Maritime Transportation & Engineering

Q&A with Newly Announced Master of the Training Ship, Wade Howell ’02


In January, Texas A&M University at Galveston announced that Wade Howell ‘02, professor of maritime transportation, would serve as the Master of the Training Ship. He previously sailed as Chief Mate on the TS Kennedy during Summer Sea Term 2022. Before starting as a professor at the Galveston campus, Howell worked as a sailing master for the Military Sealift Command and remains a commander in the US Naval Reserve Strategic Sealift Force. He has 19 years of industry experience, currently teaches MART 410 (Bridge Resource Management) , MART 400 (Deck Sea Training III Advanced) , MART 308 ( Fast Rescue Craft) and  MART 321 ( Navigation Rules, International and Inland)  and runs the ship bridge simulator.

Howell sat down with bldg. 311  to talk about the upcoming summer sea term, his experience as a student at the Galveston campus and more.

What are your top priorities as master of the training ship?

My top priority is to safely bring the ship from port to port and then back home to Galveston this summer. At a close second, I hope to provide quality training for every cadet. I have always enjoyed teaching and being hands on with students. In this role, I hope to re-emphasize traditions established by the maritime academy that improve the application of our craft. My third priority is preparing all the different factors for the arrival of our national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV),  Lone Star State .

What are you most excited about for Summer Sea Term 2023?

This will be the first time many of these cadets are out on the open ocean, so I’m ready to see the students put their knowledge from the classroom to work and provide practical training for cadets. I’ve been to almost all of the ports of call for this summer, and I know that this will be an invaluable experience for every cadet on board. And, I’m very excited to get back out on the water myself.

What do you tell high school students contemplating applying to Texas A&M and pursuing a license?

Getting your license can lead to an exciting, well-paying career. You get to see the world and meet people you would never meet otherwise. Eventually, you get to where you know folks in almost every port. There aren’t too many ports that I go to where I don’t see people I know. The best thing about the Galveston campus, in particular, is its smaller ratio of students to professors. You get a world class education, and the maritime academy itself creates lifelong friends and encounters that you simply cannot duplicate anywhere else. You are with the same class all the way through, from your courses to summer cruise, where you get to explore foreign port cities with some of your best friends. It’s good camaraderie, and even through all the trials and tribulations, you really build a family here.

What upcoming events or activities are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the delivery of the Kennedy as our full-time training vessel this spring in preparation for Summer Sea Term 2023 and beyond. Then, of course, looking ahead to 2025, I’m excited for the delivery of Lone Star State. The state-of-the-art NSMV will transform A&M’s ability to train future mariners.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I was on the last sailing of the Texas Clipper II as an officer in 2005.

What is your favorite Aggie tradition?

Definitely the 12th Man. It’s now been over 100 years since E. King Gill suited up, and today the 12th Man symbolizes the willingness and readiness to serve your team, university and community. Fightin’ Texas Aggie football games are such an experience, and there is no doubt that we have the best student section in all of college football. The 12th Man tradition exemplifies what it means to be an Aggie.

We heard you were a yell leader. What is your favorite yell?

Probably Beat the Hell. As one of the most iconic yells, I have fond memories of passing it back as a student. And, I can say with certainty, we are going to beat the hell outta Summer Sea Term 2023.

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Taylor Bounds
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