The Sea Cadets are a uniformed, disciplined youth movement based upon the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy.

Our aim is:
To help young people towards responsible adulthood by encouraging valuable personal attributes and high standards of conduct using a nautical theme based on Naval customs.

We can claim the longest continuous history of any British youth movement, dating back to the Crimean War when sailors returning home from the campaign formed Naval Lads Brigades to help orphans in the sea port back streets.

Our origins can be traced back to the Kent port of Whitstable where the first of the Naval Lads Brigades was established.

So successful were the Brigades in helping disadvantaged youth that the Navy League, a national organisation a membership of a quarter of a million dedicated to supporting the Royal Navy, adopted them in 1910.

Four years later with sponsorship of the Admiralty, the Sea Cadet Corps was formed.

Sea Cadets served with distinction in both world wars –in the Second World War, the Corps provided communicators for the Fleet, with their Units receiving a "bounty" for every trained signalman who went to sea. They were known as "Bounty Boys". And tradition lives on. Sea Cadet officers still wear the wavy lace insignia of the wartime Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve – heroes of the battle of the Atlantic.

Today the Sea Cadets continue to flourish with 400 units nation-wide and a total of 16,000 Cadets. Unique among cadet organisations, although sponsored by the Royal Navy, the Corps is also supported by its own national charity, the Sea Cadet Association which raises funds for the Corps and maintains the Sea Cadet fleet including the Corps’ flagship, the square rigged brig Royalist.

Many Sea Cadet Units – known as Training Ships – are based in inner city areas where they continue to promote the origins of the movement, providing worthwhile activities for young people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to develop their life skills.

Although more than 20 percent of new recruits embarking on careers in the Royal Navy are Sea Cadets, the movement is not primarily a pre-service organisation, but sets it sights on equipping young people with the essentials of self reliance, personal discipline and team work which will hold them in good stead whatever career they pursue.

Our core training is based on seamanship and traditional maritime skills, but Cadets can also study mechanical and electrical engineering, communications, cookery, computers band musician, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and a host of associated subjects to prepare them for adult life.

With the experience of the Sea Cadets under their belts, many ex-Cadets have risen to the very top of their professions. Old boys include such famous names as movie star Sean Connery, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, TV personality Rolph Harris, jazz legend Kenny Ball – not forgetting The Archbishop of Canterbury. The sea still plays an important part in our lives. Sea Cadets go to sea aboard Royal Navy ships, attend courses at Naval bases including helicopter flying at Naval Air Stations, and fly the flag for the Navy at national events, highlight of which is the annual Trafalgar Day Parade in London’s Trafalgar Square to commemorate Admiral Lord Nelson’s death at the battle of Trafalgar.

There are opportunities for foreign travel too. The Corps is a leading light in the International Sea Cadet Association, forging nautical links with nations around the world from South Africa and Australia to Bermuda, Canada and the United States of America.

Today, the Sea Cadets have come a long way from those early days in the seaport back streets when orphans of the war first donned the blue uniform. Now the Corps continues to offer unrivalled opportunities for young people aged between 10 and 18 years despite the competing attractions of the "youth leisure industry".

Why do young people join the Sea Cadets? Because they want to do something worthwhile - Because they want to belong to the best youth movement around - Because they want to invest in their own community and make the most of what the new millennium may bring
- Because they want to meet the challenge of the future with the motto

Ready Aye Ready.


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