I first started my Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) journey at the age of 14, when I was begrudgingly bundled on to a bus in Yeovil, headed to RNAS Yeovilton. I threw a hissy fit and didn't want to go.
At the end of that first parade night? I'd made friends, been roped in to heading for the area football competition at HMS Raleigh in Plymouth and after that? I never looked back...
I learned to sail, fly a plane, took part in national parades & navigated by land, sea and air. I got to meet HM Queen Elizabeth and be inspected by her on four occasions, met (and was told off by) Prince Andrew and had my D of E award given to me by Prince Edward. I still love this, I'll be one of those people telling these stories in a retirement home one day...
A Brief History of the Sea Cadet Corps
In 1919 the Admiralty officially recognised the 'Naval Lad's Brigades' and changed the name to 'Navy League Sea Cadet Corps'
By the start of the Second World War there were 100 units in the UK and around 10,000 cadets, all trained as seafarers. During the war, the Navy League purchased an old sailing vessel – Training Ship (TS) Bounty on which many of the cadets took pre-service training for the Royal Navy. Due to the contribution made to the war effort, officers in the Sea Cadets still wear the lace insignia of the wartime Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves.
In 1942, the Admiralty had taken over the training and it was renamed to the Sea Cadet Corps.
Today, there are over 19,500 cadets and adult volunteers making up the SCC in over 400 units around the UK and abroad.
And with no further ado, here are some of my favourite moments of my Sea Cadet career, the skills you can learn and just a fraction of the options available to those of you between the ages of 10 and 18!