At every Navy League National Convention, Board of Directors Meeting, Sea-Air-Space Exposition and at so many local council events, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) Cadets can be seen presenting the colors, attending panel discussions, engaging with Navy League members and active-duty personnel, and being honored for academic and extracurricular achievements. Youth programs are a key mission area for the Navy League, and this month the NSCC marks a major milestone.
On Sept. 10, 1962, Congress passed Public Law 87-655, officially chartering the NSCC as a nonprofit civilian youth training organization for young people ages 13-17. In the five decades since then, more than 150,000 American youths have participated in the Sea Cadet program, with many choosing careers in the military. In fact, former Sea Cadets make up 11.5 percent of this year’s incoming Plebe class at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The goals of the NSCC are to develop an interest and ability in basic seamanship and seagoing skills; instill in each Cadet the virtues of good citizenship and strong moral principles; demonstrate the value of an alcohol-, drug- and gang-free lifestyle; and present the advantages and prestige of a military career.
The program provides young people with the opportunity for personal growth, and to develop self esteem, confidence and the mental and physical skills and fortitude needed to be successful in whatever academic and career path they choose. Established under the NSCC umbrella, although not part of the federal charter, is the Navy League Cadet Corps, a program for youths ages 11-13. At the heart of both programs are the principles of patriotism, good citizenship, a sense of duty and respect for others.
PHILIP L. DUNMIRE, Navy League National President