Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Naval Sea Cadet Corp (NSCC)?
The NSCC is the senior cadet program for young men and women ages 13-17 who are interested in developing their skills in leadership, basic seamanship, courage, self-reliance and discipline. Our cadets are also committed to being drug-, alcohol- and gang-free.
What is the Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC)?
The NLCC is the junior program for the NSCC. The NLCC introduces boys and girls ages 10-13 to naval life through instruction in basic seamanship and leadership.
Who Sponsors the NSCC / NLCC?
Many cadet units are sponsored by individual Councils of the Navy League of the United States, a non-profit organization made up of U.S. citizens whose objective is to support the sea services, and who are deeply interested in the welfare of young Americans.
Becoming a Cadet
Will I be required to join the U.S. Armed Forces as part of being a Cadet?
No. We are not a recruiting vehicle for the armed services. Cadets have absolutely no commitment regarding future military service.
I want to enlist in the Military after High School. How can being a Sea Cadet help me?
For those cadets who decide to enlist in the military, their prior training as a Sea Cadet may allow them to join at an advanced pay grade. This means that a cadet who enlists may be eligible for a higher rank and pay than his or her non-cadet counterparts. Cadets who choose to enlist in the military also tend to do better and stay in longer. Each cadet who enters the armed services is a disciplined, well-trained individual who typically adjusts better to the rigors of military service than those with no experience.
I want to apply for a service academy or another officer commissioning program after high school. How can being a Sea Cadet help me?
Being a Sea Cadet can help individuals become more competitive for certain programs. More than 12% of the Class of 2019 at the U.S. Naval Academy were former Sea Cadets. Every year many graduating high school seniors are accepted into ROTC or OCS programs around the country. We think some of this can be attributed to the unparalleled training experience received as a Sea Cadet.
What are the requirements of membership?
All prospective cadets must be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents and meet our minimum age requirements (ages 10 through the completion of high school). Cadets must be unmarried, drug-free, and alcohol-free. Successful academic progress is required as well (at least a “C”-grade point average). Cadet applicants must complete a medical examination similar to a high school sports physical and submit proof of immunization against common diseases.
Cadets must also be physically and mentally able to participate in the basic required activities of the program, such as team-based physical training, close-order military drill, classroom instruction, and (for Sea Cadets only) annual overnight away-from-home training programs. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is the policy of the USNSCC that no qualified person will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefit of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination by the USNSCC simply because that person has a disability. The USNSCC will grant reasonable accommodations where necessary to permit full participation.
Adult volunteer applicants must be free of felony convictions, be in good standing within the community, and be in good health commensurate with their age group. Applicants must submit proof of immunization against common diseases.
Can anyone join?
We welcome all applicants who meet our program’s eligibility requirements. The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps will never discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, color, religion, or national origin. It is very important to us to promote a culture of inclusion in our Sea Cadet family.
Will I have to pay membership fees?
Yes. Your enrollment fee includes premiums paid toward the Sea Cadet Group Accident and Health Protection Plan. This is our insurance plan, designed to keep you covered in the low likelihood of something happening during a cadet-sponsored training event. It is important to us that the membership fees are minimal in order to be accessible to as many people as possible.
Annual enrollment fees are based on the cost of program operation and administration.
Do I buy my own uniforms?
Surplus U.S. Navy uniforms are made available to the NSCC and NLCC. These uniforms, in turn, are then 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 Navy Exchange Uniform Shops.
What kind of uniforms will I wear?
Cadets are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy enlisted uniforms appropriately marked with the NSCC/NLCC insignia.
Training Program and Opportunities
What is the main purpose of Cadet training?
While cadet units are organized along military lines, their main purpose is to foster good citizenship and an interest and appreciation of our nation’s sea services. Cadets and volunteers are also quick to name the wonderful by-products of our training program: new friends, a sense of accomplishment from overcoming obstacles and involvement with the community.
How much time will my Cadet training require each month?
Time commitment varies from unit-to-unit, but a typical unit will meet for one weekend a month, called a drill weekend. Additional training opportunities of varying lengths are often made available throughout the year.
What do Cadets learn?
Cadets study a broad range of subjects, all of them designed to enhance the individual. Some sessions, like community service, are designed to help them become better citizens, while other classes will teach them the importance of strong maritime forces. Cadets will study naval history, customs and traditions, seamanship, navigation and similar subjects.
Who instructs the Cadets?
Cadets are instructed by naval personnel (active duty, reserve and retired), by senior cadets and by dedicated adult volunteer leaders who make up the USNSCC Officer Corps.
Are Cadets permitted to go to sea?
Yes. After completing recruit training and other required courses of instruction, many Sea Cadets can participate in advanced training aboard Navy and Coast Guard vessels ranging from small patrol craft to large nuclear powered aircraft carriers.
While Navy League Cadets are not permitted to go to sea for extended periods, they often participate in day cruises and tours.
What travel opportunities are available to Cadets?
Sea Cadets travel to training sites all over the country during the summer training period. Additionally, outstanding Sea Cadets are selected to participate in the NSCC International Exchange Program. Exchange cadets are selected on a merit basis; each cadet must have an outstanding record as well as good standing within his or her home unit.
What are the main differences between the training experiences of the NLCC and the NSCC?
The training program designed for League Cadets is age-appropriate and less rigorous than that of the NSCC. It is less arduous, but still includes a wide variety of training opportunities designed to give League Cadets exposure to Navy life.
When joining the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, cadets are required to have attended a two-week away-from-home recruit training in order to rise in rank and participate in advanced training sessions. League Cadets have the option to attend a one-week, away-from-home orientation, but it is not a requirement for rank advancement.