A Cadre of Exceptional Individuals
The Naval Sea Cadet Corps Officer Corps
Why do people volunteer? Why do men and women, who either are
or who have spent a lifetime working, and many times serving
their country, want to volunteer?
The simple answer is a sense of accomplishment! It is the ability
to influence the world around them, to some it’s called
making a difference for others it’s continuing to make
a difference. These are some of the reasons why people join
the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Naval Sea Cadet
Corps (NSCC) as an Adult Leader.
The 56th Edition of Chapman Piloting Seamanship & Small
Boat Handling, published by Hearst Marine Books defines the
Ship-Shape – When everything
on a boat is in good order.
Well-Found – When a vessel
is well equipped.
Bristol-Fashion – When a vessel
is especially well cared for.
What is more important is how these men and women have made a
difference for so many young people, since the founding of the
Naval Sea Cadets in 1962. And they continue, on a daily basis
to shape, foster, hone, encourage, and provide role models for
the youth of our nation. The Naval Sea Cadet Corps, just like
the Boy Scouts (which was founded by Lord Baden-Powell in England,
some ninety-seven years ago in 1907), has grown from a single
countries idea, to a world wide phenomena.
The Naval Sea Cadets were formed in the US in 1958, but internationally
were in existence prior to 1914, when the Naval Sea Cadets were
officially formed in England. In fact, the Sea Cadets was an offshoot
of the Naval Lads Brigades, formed after the Crimean War (1854-1856).
Indeed, the concept of Naval Sea Cadets has been around quite
a long time.
From the beginning, adults have been at the forefront of support
for the boys, and now boys and girls who are the members of the
NSCC. It is these nameless, faceless adults, at least to the public,
that are responsible for cultivating some of current national
leaders, and our future leaders. But these leaders are not faceless
and nameless to the thousands that have joined, learned, and left
the NSCC. These people are mentors, friends and role models
“I joined the Corps because the Boy Scouts and Sea
Scouts really didn’t have the same training opportunities
or actually work with the Coast Guard or Navy”. –
Naval Sea Cadet Alexander Marquette, Freeport Texas.
Neil Bradley has been a member of the Sea Cadets twice, from
1984-1986 and since 1994. He initially joined the Sea Cadets in
the Navy. The command he was stationed at had 25 eligible Petty
Officers for Chief Petty Officer. His mentor told him the only
way he would be able to make Chief was to show, exhibit and live
One day, he came across a copy of the Navy League magazine and
saw an article about the Sea Cadet program. The rest as they say
is history. He joined a unit near his command, and within a year
was selected for Chief Petty Officer.
“I know for certain that my involvement with the Sea Cadets
is what pushed me above the pack for selection. I continued with
the Sea cadets until I was reassigned to Sea Duty,” said
So dedicated to the organization that he re-affiliated with the
program in 1994, when stationed at Pear Harbor. “At that
time, the local unit was very small, and floundering. Within 1
year, we had an enrollment of 50 cadets, and by the time I retired
from the USN, we had 75 cadets, 12 adults and the unit was ranked
#5 in the nation.”
“In addition, I organized and ran 3 Sea Cadet boot camps,
which were specifically mentioned as having 'some of the best
basic training available in the program'.” Bradley said
with pride in his voice.
During the following years and after his retirement from the Navy,
Bradley help two other units start and/or recover, and today all
are still going strong.
Why does Neil Bradley continue to work with Sea Cadets? His answer
is similar to all the other adults:
“I thoroughly enjoy working with the cadets, and I feel
honored to be able to pay back the Sea Cadet program for what
it has done for me, both on a personal and professional level.”
Lt Bethany Beck is the Commanding Officer of H R Doud Division
in Saginaw Michigan, with training at Coast Guard Station Essexville,
in Essexville Michigan. Bethany Beck has been with the NSCC for
the last 14 years.
Lt. Beck, was a military (Navy) wife for over twenty years. She
joined because her husband, while he was in the Navy, also joined
the NSCC Officer Corps. She was so inspired by what she saw, that
she felt she needed to join the NSCC and help develop these youngsters
into a solid future generation.
What makes Lt Beck unique is her approach to leadership? It’s
her caring approach; high standards; and the ability to inspire
her Cadets to achieve.
“Leadership and responsibility are symbiotic,” according
to Lt Beck. “For young people, their responsibility starts
at school, with good academics. My Cadets are required, unlike
many sport teams, to keep a C or better in each and every course
they take. Most schools require that the team members keep a C
average. Our Cadets can not get less than a C, period; be the
course a physics class or home economics. “
Leadership needs to be learned. Leaders need to be guided in
the right direction, and have available role models and mentors
to assist them in seeking the correct course. Without the Officer
Corps, and Officer’s such at Bethany Beck, these young people
“Failure to maintain this academic standard, results in
suspension of training rights at the Coast Guard Station,”
said Beck, known for her loud bark, but also loved for her gentle
“My unit has made me proud as all of them carry an A or
B in all their classes as they want to go to the Coast Guard Station
as much as possible,” boasted Beck, with pride and accomplishment
in her voice.
Lt. Beck talks about one Cadet “who was at the Station
Essexville during the demise of the oil tanker Jupiter. It exploded
and spilled thousands of gallons of oil into the Great Lakes.
This Cadet immediately boarded the Cutter with the other responding
Coast Guard personnel. She not only went to help her fellow crew-mates,
but actually jumped in the lake to save lives.
This Cadet now is in the Coast Guard serving her country. There
are many in my Unit who have accomplished exceptional things.
This is due to the extraordinary training they have received at
the Coast Guard Station. I give all the credit to the men and
women of the Coast Guard, and indeed to any and all the people
who are willing to train any of the Sea Cadets that I send them.
By the way, the Cadet mentioned happened to be a young lady.”
I want to help grow, teach and provide a military role
model for the youth of today...our leaders of tomorrow. This
has already happen with my cadets going on to various military
collages, and into the Armed Forces. It is a refreshing breath
of fresh air to see that some kids today do have higher values.
– LTjg Dante Laurino Executive Officer Liberty Division
-Station Fire Island
James McLoughlin could be considered the quintessential Naval
Sea Cadet. His story, if this was a romance novel, would almost
be idyllic. Joining the Sea Cadets at age 16, James completes
training with a single goal in mind, the sea. He graduates high
school and works for the local ferry company, while attending
He graduates college and obtains a teaching certificate for grades
7-12, but instead, worked for, and obtained a Master of limited
tonnage passenger vessels, and goes to sea for four years. Approximately
four years later, James is reacquainted with the Sea Cadets, becoming
their Commanding Officer (of the Gosnold division).
Still at the helm of the Gosnold division, James has added a
Master’s Degree, and Adjunct Professor titles to his portfolio
of accomplishments. He owns a sightseeing and dinner cruse business.
In addition, James works for the Public Affairs Department of
the Coast Guard, as well as the Health Benefits Advisor.
Still, his heart is with the sea, working as a relief master
aboard commercial passenger vessels. James sees his releationship
with the Naval Sea Cadets as “…a circle. All of my
professional affiliations---licensed master, public affairs, professional
teacher--are inextricably intertwined and dependent upon one another,
but all come full circle in the NSCC.”
Never to Old or Young to Learn, Mentor or Teach; The
Naval Sea Cadets Officer Corps
Coleen and Roger Sabourin are retired military. Roger spent ten
years in the Navy, and took a break. He then entered the Army
and spent the next 14 years in the service of his country. In
1998, he joined the NSCC.
In September of 2000, Coleen and Roger started the Coast Guard
Group Portland Division 1. Both in their golden years, Colleen
will be 54 and Roger 60. Asked why he sticks with the NSCC, Roger
said “My doctors tell me this program is helping keep me
young and I believe it, It is a pleasure watching the young Cadets
grow into good responsible young adults.”
Coleen, who has worked side by side with her husband, was a supervisor
at General Motors Plant in Framingham, MA. Coleen, when asked
what she brings to the NSCC said, “I bring a wealth of corporate
knowledge to the unit and the Cadets. It’s important for
them to understand what both the military as well as corporate
America is looking for, and wants from the next generation.”
The Sabourin’s are not alone, in either backgrounds or
outlooks. Many of the adult leaders in the Officer Corps come
to the NSCC as young military men and women, or in later life.
They come for a variety of reasons, from career advancement, to
What is unique is that they all find what they are looking for,
as well as the Cadets themselves. These people have entered into
a win-win situation, and the real winners – society. Well
rounded, good citizens are the outcome of all the hard work of
the Officer Corps and the Cadets.
About the Officer Corps
Officers in the NSCC may either be civilians or military personnel
(active, reserve or retired). They should be knowledgeable of
both today’s youth and be interested in their training,
their citizenship, and their future.
Instructors are recruited from active Reserve military commands
and from civilian leaders within the community. While the NSCC
doesn’t require educational or other qualifications, applicants
with either a nautical or military backgrounds are desired.
NSCC officers are authorized to wear Navy officer uniforms (modified
by the NSCC insignia). NSCC officers, while working in the capacity
as an NSCC Officer, are not military officers. However, they do
receive and are expected to give, all military courtesies.
Requirements of the Officer Corps
The following criteria must be met to be accepted into the Officer
- Applicants must be a US Citizen and be between 21 years of
age and 65. According to CAPT Michael Ford, USN (RET), the Executive
Director of the NSCC, “We have revised to age 65, with
waivers. These waivers are those individuals considered in good
physical condition to work with youths. We have many folks over
65 who have proven to be superb leaders.........a great deal
of their success is because they are fully retired and devote
their entire days to working for the Naval Sea Cadet Corp.”
- They need to pass a physical examination which will certify
them fit to carry out their assigned duties. All adults involved
in the NSCC, regardless of present employment, must undergo
a criminal background check and not have any felony convictions.
The NSCC Officer Corps Wants You – The Adventure
of a Lifetime!
Sometimes advertising slogans just get to the heart of a subject.
So, thank you to Nike, because if you’re an adult, who meets
the requirements of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps Officer Corps, and
are thinking about joining, just follow Nike’s advice –
Just Do It!
A program does not just happen in a vacuum. Especially a program
for young men and women. For the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, there
is a cadre of adults that run, mentor and instill the values for
For more information, contact the Naval Sea Cadet Corps via
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
on the web at www.seacadets.org
or call them at: 703-243-6910.
For more information about the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary,
see us on the web at www.uscg.mil