20 QUESTIONS ABOUT SEA CADETS
1. What is the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps?
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps is a not for profit, all volunteer, military youth education organization for young Americans both male and female, whose objectives are to develop an interest and skill in basic seamanship and its naval adaptations, to train them in seagoing skills and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues.
Cadets train aboard 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 NSCC or NLCC (League Cadet) units in operation in almost every state of the union as well as Puerto Rico and Guam, with about 10,000 Sea Cadets participating. The Naval Sea Cadet Corps affords equal opportunity for participation to all American youth without regard to race, color, religion, sex or disability.
2. How old must I be to join the Sea Cadets?
You are eligible to join if you will reach your 13th birthday and have not yet reached your 18th birthday. (If you are 10-13 you can be a Navy League Cadet.)
3. What are the requirements of membership?
All prospective cadets must be U.S. Citizens, free of any felony convictions, enrolled in school, have parental consent, maintain a “C” average or better in school, and possess good moral character in addition to being interested in the program.
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?
Yes. Your annual enrollment fee includes premiums paid toward the Sea Cadet Group Accident and Health Protection Plan, the cost of uniforms, administrative and training supplies and local training conducted at the division. (See the “Fees” link on this website for more info.)
6. Must I buy my own uniform?
Surplus U.S. Navy uniforms are made available to the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. These uniforms, in turn, are made available to cadets at a minimal cost as part of your enrollment in the program. Uniform needs, which cannot be met through this source, (shoes for example), may be purchased at Navy Exchange Uniform shops or through other military outlets.
7. Will Sea Cadet training detract from my schoolwork?
Not likely. Our Sea Cadet unit usually meets only one weekend per month during the school year. Instruction is designed to supplement your schoolwork. Normally, training away from home is conducted only during school vacations.
8. What do Sea Cadets learn?
They study a broad range of subjects. Some are designed to help them to 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 an advanced pay grade should they decide to join one of the sea services.
9. What are the chances for NSCC promotion?
Promotion within the Sea Cadets is based upon fulfilling certain successive NSCC training and qualifications. Promising young men and women, are given command positions and encouraged to develop qualities of leadership.
10. Who sponsors the Sea Cadets?
Many Sea Cadet units are sponsored by local Councils of the Navy League of the United States. Unit sponsors may also be the American Legion, the Fleet Reserve, VFW and other patriotic and civic organizations.
11. Who instructs the Sea Cadets?
Sea Cadets are instructed by Military personnel (active, reserve and retired), by senior cadets and by other adult leaders willing to denote their time and knowledge to this activity.
12. Can I go to summer camp?
Yes. You must be enrolled in the program for a minimum of 6-8 weeks prior to attending Recruit Training to allow for enrollment processing and uniform outfitting. Within the first year, newly enrolled Sea Cadets are required to attend two weeks of recruit training at Navy and Coast Guard “boot camps” throughout the country. Having successfully completed recruit training, cadets may then participate in additional training in advanced subjects. These two-week training periods offer a varied program of activities in addition to valuable instruction of a maritime nature. If you are thinking about joining in the summer time just to attend a summer camp, this program has a lot more to offer than that.
13. Are Sea Cadets permitted to go to sea?
Yes. After completing the recruit training and other required courses of instruction, Sea Cadets can participate in advanced training aboard Navy and Coast Guard vessels ranging from small boats and harbor craft to large nuclear powered aircraft carriers.
14. What training is available aboard ships?
Sea Cadets are trained in basic seamanship, navigation, damage control, watch standing, fire fighting, first aid, and other nautical skills.
15. Are there advanced training courses?
Yes. In addition to advanced training aboard naval vessels. Sea Cadets may attend advanced orientation courses such as Airman School, Seabee Indoctrination, SEAL, Amphibious Assault Operations, Leadership Academy, Medical, Submarine Orientation, Ceremonial School, Law Enforcement, and other courses designed to prepare cadets for naval and civilian leadership.
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 International Exchanges – Canada – East and West, Bermuda, UK, Australia, Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.
17. How can I be selected for the Exchanges?
Exchange cadets are selected on a merit basis. Each cadet must have an outstanding Sea Cadet record as well as a good reputation within his home/school 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 any military service. For those Sea Cadets who 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 the Sea Cadet training?
While Sea Cadet units are organized along military lines, their main purpose is to foster good citizenship and an interest and appreciation of our nation’s maritime services: the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.