Sea Cadets from 13 states converged on Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Port Hueneme over their winter break for a 10-day recruit training.
More than 300 cadets came from as far away as Alabama and Michigan to learn about the Navy. Advanced trainings in photojournalism, seamanship and Marine Corps martial arts also took place.
The recruits experienced almost every aspect of boot camp, from 5 a.m. reveille and physical training before sunrise to swim qualifications, watch standing and marching — lots of marching.
Making this winter’s recruit training even more challenging was the compressed schedule. The curriculum required for the 14-day summer boot camp was completed in only 10 days due to the limited time available over winter break.
“These cadets are incredible,” said Lt. Cmdr. Monica Marinelli of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps and a staff officer for the local Sea Cadet unit. “They give up their winter break from school to complete boot camp. So instead of sleeping in and lounging around, they’re getting up early every morning, making an inspection-ready rack and marching five or more miles each day.”
The training concluded with a graduation pass in review ceremony.
“The cadets all looked their best,” Marinelli said. “They were sharp, together and looked as good as any Navy division that had eight weeks to get ready.”
Now that boot camp is over, these cadets may attend any advanced trainings across the country for which they are eligible, including shipboard seamanship; aviation; construction battalion skills; master-at-arms training; medical; intelligence; engineering; sailing; special warfare combatant; scuba; explosive ordnance disposal; submarine; SeaPerch robotics and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and military vehicle maintenance.
Additionally, there are international exchange opportunities, the Naval Academy Summer Seminar focusing on STEM and sailing with the Coast Guard cadets aboard the training cutter Eagle.
After graduation, cadets may compete for 16 college scholarships sponsored by the Navy League of the United States. If they choose to enlist, they may be eligible for an advance pay grade in the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Army.
The Naval Sea Cadet Corps and the Navy League Cadet Corps provide opportunities for youth 10 to 18 years old to learn more about the sea services while promoting citizenship and community service and developing in them a sense of pride, patriotism, courage and self-reliance in an environment free of drugs and gangs.
For more information about the Sea Cadets, visit www.SeaCadets.org.