Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to come to every drill?
As an instructor, you are not required to attend every drill. However, if you are interested in eventually holding an official billet in the unit (especially Department Heads and Division Officers), you must show the commitment to the program by having consistent attendance.
After one year as an instructor, an adult may opt to be an officer. Officers are required to attend drill consistently.
Do I get to choose my job in the unit?
Your billet will first depend on the needs of the unit. As a volunteer, it is important for you to enjoy the work you will be doing, so your assignment will also be based on personal preference and skills. The more senior you are, the higher priority you will have in selecting your billet.
What if I work on weekends? Can I still volunteer?
You can still be a big help to the program even if you cannot attend drill. There are a number of tasks that get completed between drill, especially with recruiting and public affairs events.
Do I have to attend Advanced Trainings as an instructor?
You are not required, but it is encouraged. The program only works when there are volunteers. Officers are required to staff training over the summer, and staffing a training is required for advancement to the next rank.
Do I get to choose the Training I attend?
Just like the cadets, instructors request orders for the training they would like to staff. Selection will depend on the needs of the training and the experience of the instructors.
Do I get to use my prior military rank?
If you are retired or currently serving in the military, you can maintain your rank, but you would need to wear the uniform of that service rather than the Sea Cadet uniform. If you are a discharged veteran, E-6 or above and are over the age of 35, you may be eligible to come aboard as a Warrant Officer. All other adult volunteers, whether they have prior service or not, begin as either a Midshipman (ages 18-21) or Instructor.
Will it cause a problem if my child is a cadet?
Many of our instructors and officers are parents of cadets. Spending time together in an environment like Sea Cadets can create a special bond between parents and their cadets, and both parties benefit greatly when a parent is involved. We count on the professionalism of our adult leaders to ensure that there is never a conflict of interest. Cadets are expected to treat their parents as they do any instructor. They do not call them “Mom” or “Dad” at drill, they cannot approach them without being requested, and they are not to ask for special favors from their parents while at drill. At the same time, parents who are instructors are required to keep a professional relationship with their cadet while at drill. This includes not stepping in if their cadet is being reprimanded, not calling them by a family nickname, and stepping aside when issues arise that would normally not involve parent intervention. Instructors are asked to recuse themselves from selection and awards boards when their child is involved. Although it is strange at first, cadets acclimate to the new Sea Cadet relationship with their parents pretty quickly as long as the parents do their part.
Do adult leaders earn rank?
Yes. Those adult leaders who apply for appointment to the NSCC Officer Corps will have the opportunity to earn rank. New NSCC officers are appointed by the NSCC Executive Director to the rank of ensign. The NSCC officer rank structure parallels that of the U.S. Navy. NSCC officers may promote through the rank of lieutenant commander. In order for NSCC officers to promote they must meet minimum performance, training, and time-in-service requirements. They must also contribute a minimum amount of volunteer service to NSCC summer training programs. NSCC officer rank is entirely honorary and does not have any relation to or authority and entitlements of actual military rank.
Do I get to wear a uniform?
Yes. NSCC officers, midshipman, and instructors are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear the U.S. Navy officer uniforms appropriately modified with NSCC insignia.
Will I have to buy my own uniforms?
The Baton Rouge Division has a limited number of uniforms for officers and instructors that will be issued when possible. If we do not have what you need, you can go to the Navy Base Exchange or local Army-Navy Surplus to purchase items at a lower cost. Rank and other insignia will be provided by the unit. You will have to purchase your own nametags and name strips.