20 questions about the Sea Cadets
1. What is the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps?
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps is a program for young Americans, male and female, ages 10 through 17, whose objectives are to develop an interest and skill in basic seamanship and in its naval adaptations, to train them in seagoing skills, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues. Cadets train aboard the ships and shore activities of the Navy and Coast Guard and are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy uniforms appropriately marked with Naval Sea Cadet Corps insignia. There are over 300 units in operation in almost every state of the union, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam, with over 10,000 young Americans participating. The Naval Sea Cadet Corps affords equal opportunity for participation to all American youth, without regard to race, color, religion, gender or disability.
2. How old must I be to join the Sea Cadets?
You are eligible to join if you have reached your 13th birthday and have not yet reached your 18th birthday. Younger people (10 through 13 years old) may be eligible to join the League Cadets.
3. What are the requirements of membership?
All prospective cadets must be a U.S. citizen, unmarried, enrolled in school, have parent consent, and possess good moral character. In addition, the individual must be interested in the program and be prepared to attend drills regularly. You need to be ready to have fun and be willing to learn new things.
4. What about medical exams?
A medical examination similar to a high school sports physical is required for all cadet applicants to the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) or Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC). No one will be denied admission to the NSCC/NLCC due to a medical disability. Where a medical condition precludes full, unlimited participation, a Request for Accommodation (NSCADM 015) may be presented by the parent or guardian for review so the cadet may participate in NSCC activities to the maximum extent possible.
Adult applicants must be in good health commensurate with their age group and be free from any ailment or condition that would prevent them from satisfactorily performing their primary duty of supervising youth. NOTE: Adults not physically qualified to perform all duties may still participate with a waiver from NHQ considering the parameters of their expected contribution to the NSCC program.
5. Will I have to pay dues?
The initial enrollment fee is $160. The annual re-enrollment fee is $110. This fee includes premiums paid toward the Sea Cadet Group Accident and Health Protection Plan. Each month, cadets may be required to bring a small fee to cover meals, berthing, activities, and transportation.
6. Must I buy my own uniform?
Surplus U.S. Navy uniforms are made available to the NSCC and NLCC. These uniforms, in turn, are made available to cadets at a minimal cost for shipping and handling. Uniform needs that cannot be met through this source may be purchased at the Navy Exchange Uniform Shops. Attempts are made to supply uniform items, but some items, due to size or availability, may be the responsibility of the parents to provide (normally boots or shoes).
7. Will Sea Cadet training detract from my school work?
Not likely. The Liberty Division usually meets two weekends per month. Instruction is designed to supplement school work. Normally, training away from home is conducted only during the school vacation periods (i.e., recruit training and advanced training). Our experience is that the self-discipline learned in the program carries over to the academic experience with cadet grade average going up one letter grade.
8. What do the Sea Cadets learn?
They study a broad range of subjects. Some are designed to help them become better adult citizens, others teach them the importance of strong maritime forces. They also study naval history, customs and traditions, seamanship, navigation and similar subjects which would help their chances for promotion should they decide to join one of the sea services. Cadets are also exposed to skills and experiences that can expand their view of what is available to them in the future.
9. What are my chances for promotion?
Promotion within the Sea Cadets is based upon merit. Promising young men and women, upon fulfilling certain successive qualifications and requirements are given increasingly responsible positions and duties and are encouraged to develop qualities of leadership.
10. Who sponsors the Sea Cadets?
The Liberty Division of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps is sponsored by the American Legion Post 57, Lake City, FL. Additional funding comes from generous members of our community and our annual fundraisers.
11. Who instructs the Sea Cadets?
Sea Cadets are instructed by qualified volunteer adult leaders willing to devote their time and knowledge to this worthwhile activity. Some Sea Cadet officers are veterans, reservists, or active duty members of the US Navy.
12. Can I go to boot camp in the summer?
Yes. Newly enrolled Sea Cadets are required to attend a 9 day to two-week recruit training at a military "boot camp" located on military bases throughout the country. Having successfully completed recruit training, cadets participate in additional training in advanced subjects during succeeding summers. These two-week training periods offer a varied program of activities in addition to valued instruction of a maritime nature. Thanks to partial Federal funding, the cost of these training is generally quite reasonable (~$200/week). Cadets are responsible for travel costs and arrangements to training, but at times car-pooling can be arranged with other cadets.
13. Are Sea Cadets permitted to go to sea?
Yes. After completing recruit training and other required courses of instruction, many Sea Cadets can participate in one or two-week advanced training aboard Navy and Coast Guard vessels ranging from small harbor craft to large nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Cost of successfully completed two-week training is generally quite reasonable (~$200/week) thanks to partial Federal funding.
14. What training is available aboard ship?
Sea Cadets are trained in basic seamanship, damage control, watch-standing, firefighting, and other nautical skills.
15. Are there advanced training courses for Sea Cadets?
Yes. In addition to advanced training aboard naval vessels, Sea Cadets may attend advanced orientation courses, such as Airman's School, Music School, Seabee Indoctrination, Underwater Demolition/Seal Team training, Medical Training, Submarine Orientation and other courses designed to prepare cadets for leadership, either within the Sea Cadet organization or in other fields. Thanks to partial Federal funding, the cost of these training is generally quite reasonable (~$200/week). The cadet is responsible for travel costs and arrangements.
16. Are there travel opportunities?
Yes. Sea Cadets travel to training sites all over the country during the summer training period. Additionally, outstanding cadets are selected to participate in the International Exchange Program in Canada, Bermuda, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Sweden, and many other countries.
17. How are Sea Cadets selected for the Exchange Program?
Exchange cadets are selected on a merit basis. Each cadet must have an outstanding record, as well as a good reputation within his home community.
18. Can Sea Cadets obtain summer employment?
Yes. Sea Cadets are permitted to choose a training period during the summer months that will not interfere with summer employment arrangements.
19. Will I be required to join the U.S. Armed Forces?
No. Sea Cadets have absolutely no commitment regarding future military service. For those Sea Cadets who do decide to enlist in the Navy or Coast Guard, prior Sea Cadet training may permit entry at an advanced pay grade.
20. What is the main purpose of Sea Cadet training?
While Sea Cadet units are organized along military lines, their main purpose is to foster good citizenship and interest and appreciation of our nation's maritime services.