Sea Cadets Frequently Asked Questions

Sea Cadets FAQ

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    How much does it cost to join Sea Cadets?

    Sea Cadets offers unparalleled leadership training, adventure, and personal growth that rivals programs costing several times as much.

    Costs vary by unit, but joining Sea Cadets typically costs around $400-600 in a cadet’s first year. These costs consists of the following:

    • Annual enrollment fee ($99)
    • One-time uniform fee ($200-400). Note that this fee varies by unit. Once purchased, uniforms are exchangeable upon request for larger or smaller sizes.
    • Unit fee ($50-200)
    • Basic items for a sea bag, such as underwear, blankets and toiletries ($100-200)

    Additionally, new high-school aged cadets are expected to attend Sea Cadet Recruit Training within their first year. Costs of this training are detailed below.

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    How much does it cost to send my child to a Sea Cadets training?

    New high-school aged cadets must attend Sea Cadet Recruit Training (RT) within their first year.

    New middle-school aged cadets can optionally attend League Cadet Orientation (NLO).

    Other trainings can be attended, after graduating RT or NLO. Trainings typically cost between $250 and $350. High-cost trainings like SCUBA, sailing, aviation programs may charge a higher fee.

    Our trainings are similar to a “sleep away camp” and are 7-14 days in duration of overnight stay at the training location.

    High-school aged cadets are required to attend at least one training per calendar year, which occur at sites nationwide.

    The training cost includes activities, instruction, meals and lodging. Transportation to and from the training location is not included.

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    What is the difference between a Sea Cadets drill and a Sea Cadets training?

    Your local Sea Cadets unit meets year-round, either one or two days per month, and sometimes overnight. The drill schedule varies from unit to unit. Drills consist of team-building, physical training activities, close-order military drill, and practical hands-on instruction. This may also involve special off-site activities such as tours of military bases or naval ships.

    Sea Cadet trainings occur only twice a year—during summer and winter school break. Trainings, which are 1-2 week-long and take place throughout the country, offer specialized disciplines such as field operations, aviation, seamanship,, robotics and SCUBA.

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    Is it mandatory that my child participate in Sea Cadet drills?
    While we understand that children may be involved in a number of extracurricular activities, attendance and participation at drills are required of active Sea Cadets. Attendance requirements vary by unit. Units are required to offer 120 hours of drill per year. A cadet may miss no more than 30 hours of drill per calendar year.
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    Is it mandatory that my child participate in Sea Cadet trainings?

    High-school aged cadets are required to attend at least one training per calendar year. Middle-school aged cadets can optionally attend trainings.

    Trainings are the most exciting and rewarding aspect of Sea Cadets. Trainings allow cadets to grow as individuals and to explore a variety of new opportunities that will prepare them for their futures.

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    Is my child eligible to participate in Sea Cadets if they are unable to pass a physical fitness test?

    We focus on the potential of each applicant, not just where they are now. Anything is possible to achieve with hard work and dedication.

    Applicants must show they have the potential to pass our Physical Readiness Test (PRT). While this is not required to enroll, they must show that they are willing to pass our PRT within 3 months of enrollment and at least once every 6 months.

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    What does the Physical Readiness Test consist of?

    The Sea Cadets Physical Readiness Test (PRT) consists of three activities performed in order:

    • Plank
    • Push-ups
    • 1-Mile Run

    No cadet will be eligible to participate in Navy League Orientation, Sea Cadets Recruit Training or Advanced Training unless he/she has taken and passed the PRT within the preceding six months. Level 2 or above must be attained for Recruit Training and Level 3 or above must be attained to attend Advanced Training.

    Plank chart

    Push-up chart Mile run chart
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    What are the ranks in Sea Cadets and how does a cadet rank up?

    In the Sea Cadets, ranks mirror the ranks in the U.S. Navy. Our ranks range from Recruit Candidate for beginners, up through various levels such as Seaman Apprentice, Seaman, and Petty Officer, to the highest cadet rank of Chief Petty Officer.

    Cadets rank up by completing specific online training modules, demonstrating proficiency in physical fitness skills, leadership qualities, and passing required exams for each rank. Time in service, participation in our youth program’s activities, and recommendations from superiors also play a crucial role in the promotion process. Our volunteers also have ranks in a similar fashion. A chart of our ranks and their insignia is below.