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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does joining the Naval Sea Cadets commit my son/daughter to military service?

No. There is absolutely no service obligation associated with the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC). However, cadets who attain the rank of E-3 while in Sea Cadets are eligible to enter most of the Armed Forces branches at an advanced pay rate. For cadets who are not interested in military service, the USNSCC will provide them with invaluable leadership skills that will serve them well later in life and will be looked upon favorably by prospective colleges and employers – and they may be eligible for national college scholarships through the USNSCC.


Q2. What is the difference between League Cadets and Sea Cadets?

Naval Sea Cadets (Cruiser Milwaukee) are between the ages of 13 and 17. Navy League Cadets (Training Ship Van Valkenburg) are between the ages of 10 and 13. League Cadets drill with Sea Cadets during unit drill but have separate academic assignments and trainings.


Q3. Who instructs the cadets?

Cadets are instructed by military personnel (active, reserve, and retired), by senior cadets and by dedicated adult civilian volunteer leaders who comprise the NSCC officer corps.  All staff are voluntary and do not receive a salary.


Q4. What is the time commitment?

Sea Cadets programming includes regular monthly drills at The Richardson School, home independent academic study, and the opportunity trainings in the summers.  Unit Drills are scheduled one weekend per month on Saturday and Sunday and typically run from 8:00 AM- 2:00 PM (times can change-see POM). Drills consist of training in military bearing, marching and formation, physical fitness (currently on-hold due to COVID), leadership and teamwork exercises, and education field trips. Units may also participate in community service and color guard in addition to drills.  Cadets are also expected to complete online correspondence courses starting with the PACs (Polaris Advancement Courses) and then on to Advanced Correspondence Courses for promotion to higher ranks. League Cadets study the NLCC Syllabus rather than the PACs.  Cadet trainings run for 5- 14 days and are instructed in things such as seamanship, leadership, marksmanship, field medical training, Scuba, firefighting, etc. Trainings are usually offered in summer, with a few being offered during winter break. Recruit Training (RT) is required for Sea Cadets before they can attend other trainings and is similar to “boot camp” in which new cadets are familiarized with military protocol. League Cadets "boot camp" is a seven day Orientation.


Q5. What are the costs?

As with any youth organization, there are costs involved in keeping the unit functioning. The enrollment fee is $240 and a there is an annual renewal fee of $140 fee. This covers insurance premiums, administrative costs, and all earned awards (ribbons, appurtenances, rank etc.). Trainings have a separate cost but these costs are significantly lower than typical summer camp experiences.


Q6.  Are they required to wear a uniform?

Yes. As the only Department of Defense sponsored youth program, Sea Cadets are entitled to wear regulation Navy uniforms with special insignia to indicate they are NSCC.  The working uniform is the Navy Working Uniform (NWU Type 3). Summer white uniforms and winter blue uniforms are worn for more formal events. These uniforms are on loan from the US Navy and remain the property of the US Navy, so once a cadet leaves the program, the uniforms are to be returned. 


Q7. My son/daughter has medical/physical constraints. Can he/she still join?

Yes. No child shall be denied enrollment on the basis of medical/physical disability. Please contact us to set up a meeting with the Commanding Officer to discuss your child’s specific needs.


Q8. What are the requirements for enrollment?

  • Must be between the ages of 13 and 17 (NLCC 10-13).

  • Must be a US Citizen

  • Must be a full time student and maintain satisfactory grades (2.00 "C" grade point average).

  • Must possess good moral character, be unmarried, not pregnant, drug-free, and have no criminal record.

  • Must comply with the Standards of Conduct, Grooming Standards and Physical Standards.

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