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Cal Maritime Names Golden Bear's First Female Captain

September 20, 2022

California State University Maritime Academy has appointed Samaro Bannister-Schneider to serve as interim captain of Training Ship Golden Bear (TSGB). Image courtesy Cal Maritime

California State University Maritime Academy has appointed Samaro Bannister-Schneider to serve as interim captain of Training Ship Golden Bear (TSGB). Image courtesy Cal Maritime

California State University Maritime Academy appointed Samaro Bannister-Schneider as interim captain of Training Ship Golden Bear (TSGB). Captain Bannister will serve as Cal Maritime’s first female TSGB captain.  

She is a 2000 graduate of Cal Maritime’s Marine Transportation (MT) program, and began her career on a fleet of Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) research vessels conducting survey operations. Soon after, she moved up to a larger fleet of vessels, the Watson Class LMSR RO-RO’s where she found her home. Captain Bannister spent more than14 years sailing the deep sea with Maersk Line Ltd and Ocean Ships Inc. in senior and junior positions. She worked in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has also served in senior positions for Joint Logistics Over the Sea (JLOTS) off Guatemala in 2007 and off Lynnhaven, Va. in 2008. She is a master mariner who holds an unlimited master's license, the highest grade of seafarer qualification.  

The last six years of Captain Bannister’s deep-sea service were spent as Commanding Officer of the USNS Soderman. In 2014, she moved shoreside to start a family and begin a new chapter.

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