Who We Are

The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps is a non-profit development program for youth age 11 through the completion of high school. Established in 1962, we are supported by the Department of the Navy and the Navy League of the United States.

We provide compelling, life-changing programs that instill the values of teamwork, discipline, camaraderie and service through our passionate all-volunteer force and our partnerships with our nation’s armed forces. 

Our unparalleled training program is designed to:

- Develop interest and ability in seamanship and seagoing skills

- Instill virtues of good citizenship and strong moral principles in each cadet

- Demonstrate the value of an alcohol-, drug- and gang-free lifestyle

- Expose cadets to the prestige of a military career and increase advancement potential of those who decide to join our nation’s armed services

What We Do

From our beginning, we have grown from one unit of young men to nearly 400 units with thousands of young men and women throughout the country. A lot has changed since our early days, but we continue our strong commitment to providing unique, life-changing opportunities for our country’s youth.

The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps comprises two programs — our senior program for cadets age 13 through the completion of high school and our junior program, the Navy League Cadet Corps, which is for cadets ages 11 through 13. The purpose of the NLCC program is to prepare its cadets for success upon entering NSCC by exposing them to the fundamentals of seamanship and leadership. The senior cadet program aims to expose cadets to the full rigors of a military training program with a focus on leadership skills.

Quality Training is Our Trademark

Through exposure to a unique team-centric, objective-based environment, cadets learn to demand the best from themselves and others. After enrolling in the program, Sea Cadets must complete Recruit Training. In 2014, our two largest Recruit Trainings were held at the Navy’s Recruit Training Command (RTC) in Great Lakes, Illinois, and at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. Both events were staffed with the assistance of active-duty service members. Recruit Training events were also held at 19 additional locations, ensuring that cadets from around the country received the very best introduction to the Sea Cadet and military lifestyle. Our Recruit Training is modeled after the Navy’s and is designed to equip Sea Cadets with the skills necessary to succeed at subsequent advanced training events. 

League Cadets are given the opportunity to attend Navy League Orientation, which is an age-appropriate version of Recruit Training. League Cadets who complete this orientation can participate in advanced training sessions. 

Our advanced training program balances the traditions of our naval heritage with the challenges of today’s world. We are deeply committed to our nautical roots and cadets are encouraged to develop abilities in seamanship and seagoing skills. Ample opportunities for shipboard training exist along both coasts as well as aboard our training vessels in the Great Lakes region.  

Additionally, our program is shaping the next generation of leaders and problem-solvers. The skills learned at our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training events keep our cadets on the leading edge of today’s high-tech environment. 

Cadets have fun, too; an alumni reflects, “The Sea Cadets provided me the opportunity to do things that my friends going to summer camp could never imagine.” Envision spending your winter vacation camped out in the woods in negative temperatures or spending two weeks in Sweden as part of our International Exchange Program.

Lead, Learn, Excel

As cadets complete training requirements and hone their leadership skills at their local unit, they qualify for rank advancement. With advancement comes additional responsibilities and opportunities to lead — at a local and national level. This year, more than 300 of our senior cadets served as staff at national training events with the responsibility of mentoring junior cadets. In this way, our cadets learn to lead through practical experience, passing on lessons learned to the next generation. 

As cadet Chief Petty Officer Peter Lindsey states, “The beauty of the Sea Cadet program is that knowledge and experience never become lost with those who graduate the program; they’re passed from leader to future leaders, and are therefore preserved.”


Building Technical Excellence

From aerial and underwater robotics to cybersecurity, thousands of our cadets seized opportunities for technical training this year. Our focus on STEM programs continued with participation in the CyberPatriot and SeaPerch programs.

CyberPatriot is a youth outreach program of the Air Force Association under sponsorship of Northrop Grumman that trains youth in the practical applications of computer network defense within a competitive framework. We sent two teams to compete in the 2014 National Finals and one of our volunteers, Ken Steffey,
was recognized as the CyberPatriot Coach of the Year by the Air Force Association. 

Our partnership with the Office of Naval Research allows our cadets to participate in the SeaPerch program, an innovative underwater robotics program that equips cadets with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design, and encourages cadets to explore concepts in naval architecture and engineering. We sent teams to compete in the national championships, and continued to train adult leaders to educate cadets on the fundamentals needed to design and build their own ROVs.