By Sandra Meyer
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadets promotes leadership, responsibility and a sense of duty to country for youth ages 11 – 17. The members are able to experience real military training while gaining confidence, strength and maturity. The organization offers these young people life changing experiences and important training that can result in scholarships as well as entering the military with earned rank. It instills values like discipline, teamwork and service to these boys and girls and is run by an all-volunteer force as well as through a partnership with the U.S. armed forces.
The cadets currently drill one weekend a month, just as any military reserve unit does. During the year they attend trainings that will build confidence and give them new skills such as survival and field and medical training. During the summers, the cadets have the opportunity to attend more intensive training for one to two weeks, many which occur on an actual military installation.
The Tampa Bay unit has several Lithia, Riverview and Brandon area boys and girls, as well as from other surrounding communities currently enrolled in the Sea Cadet program. In April the cadets completed a Survival Training weekend at Camp Alafia, which entailed making their own overnight shelters (no tents allowed on this one) and basic survival training skills. The weekend also included cadets being assigned to nightly watches. This is just one of the many exciting and challenging drills that the Sea Cadets offer. The training took place at Camp Alafia, the 500 acre Boy Scout Camp located in Lithia off of Lithia Pinecrest Rd.
LTJG Kevin Christie, NSCC, the Commanding Officer of the Tampa Bay unit said of the program, “A major advantage of the Sea Cadets is they are sponsored by the U.S. Navy and the Navy League, offering experiences that no other program can offer, even the JROTC programs. We have access to trainings on bases all around the country and train alongside the real military forces. I have seen an increase in cadet’s character, responsibility and self-confidence due to this program.”
For more information on this program, visit www.tampabayseacadets.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.