History

Sea Cadet organizations exist in most of the maritime nations of the world. Recognizing the value of these organizations in educating youth in maritime matters, the Department of the Navy requested the Navy League to establish a similar program for American youth. The Navy League agreed to do so and formally established the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) and Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC) in 1958.

On September 10, 1962, the NSCC was federally incorporated by Congress under Public Law 87-655 as a non-profit civilian education organization, a legal entity separate from the Navy League. This law was later amended to permit enrollment of young women in the Corps.


The Corps Today: Pride, Service, Patriotism

The Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) is for American youth ages 13-17 who have a desire to learn about the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Sea Cadets are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy uniforms appropriately marked with the Sea Cadet Corps insignia. The objectives of the Sea Cadet program are to introduce youth to naval life, to develop in them a sense of pride, patriotism, courage, and self-reliance, and to maintain an environment free of drugs and gangs.

Cadets meet or "drill" at their local unit weekly or monthly through out the year. A unit is structured along military lines and is headed by a Commanding Officer. Units may drill on military bases, at reserve centers, local schools, or community centers.

Sea Cadet units are organized as either divisions, squadrons, or battalions. Divisions closely reflect the surface navy, while squadrons are geared toward the field of naval aviation, and battalions meanwhile reflect Navy construction battalions (Seabees). Whether a division, squadron, or battalion, the local unit has one main purpose, and that is to foster team work, camaraderie and an understanding of the military command structure.

Cadets are instructed by both Sea Cadet officers and senior cadets through classroom and applied instruction in subjects such as basic seamanship, military drill, and leadership. Local units also tour Navy and Coast Guard ships and shore stations, and participate in community service such as working in Veterans' Hospitals and organizing clothing and food drives.


My Experiences

I was a cadet for three and a half years, through most of high school. I got to do more before the age of 18 than many people will do in their entire life. My unit, the Barque Eagle Division was one of the oldest in the nation and in New England. I was also the only girl, which was a little tough to get used to until the guys accepted me as one of them. During my time as a cadet, I was promoted to the rank of Petty Officer Third Class (4th out of 7 possible ranks). During my final year, I served as my unit's Leading Petty Officer, in charge of and responsible for the 40 cadets of my unit...quite a leadership experience for a 17 year old.

Weekly meetings were usually military drill and hands-on seamanship training, with some work on Navy correspondence courses (of which we did many). Everything was related to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. No one is obligated to enlist in any military service, but many of my fellow cadets did. A few went on to federal service academies (I was nominated and accepted to several, but was unable to go due to my bad eyes). We worked and learned with Naval and Marine Corps reservists, which was really neat.

Weekend training occurred every 6-8 weeks, and was usually at NETC Newport, where we did rifle qualification or got to use the Navy's damage control trainers (extremely realistic and fun).

Every summer, we went on overnight specialty training, usually in two-week blocks. Some did just one block, others spent the entire summer at various Navy bases and on ships (like my younger brother has done...I saw him a total of 8 hours in two months). Everyone goes to recruit training (boot camp) the first summer, and advanced training after that. Personally, I did boot camp, several training blocks at the Coast Guard Academy and Naval Academy, and Petty Officer Leadership Academy (which was at a Naval Air Station and was a huge, incredibly intensive jumble of naval aviation, leadership training, and fun).

I've done so many awesome things and made lifelong friends...the Corps changed me from an introverted, timid little girl into a confident, capable adult. It may sound stupid, but I firmly believe in the Navy core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

Enough of my blather...go to the website and check it out.

URL: htpp://www.seacadets.org

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