The United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC or NSCC) is a congressionally-chartered, U.S. Navy-based organization that serves to teach individuals about the sea-going military services, U.S. naval operations and training, community service, citizenship, and an understanding of discipline and teamwork. The USNSCC is composed of two programs – the senior program (USNSCC) for cadets age 13 through the age of 18, and the Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC), which is for cadets ages 10 through 13.
The NSCC was founded in 1958 by the Navy League of the United States at the request of the Navy. In 1962, the USNSCC was chartered under Title 36 of the United States Code as a non-profit youth organization with an emphasis towards the sea-going services of the United States. The law was amended in 1974 to allow female participation in the USNSCC. In 2000, the U.S. Congress stated that the NSCC and related programs "provide significant benefits for the Armed Forces, including significant public relations benefits."
Although under no service obligation, a sizeable percentage of cadets later enlist in the military. Members who obtain the grade E-3 or Seaman/Airman may receive an advanced pay-grade of E-3 if they join the Navy or Coast Guard before they turn 24 years old, and E-2 in the Marine Corps or other services, due to the training they receive. Former Sea Cadets also represent a percentage of students at the five federal service academies. The United States Navy, United States Navy League, and the United States Coast Guard all support the NSCC by providing such resources as uniform assistance, use of military facilities, and assisting with training courses.
Most of the NSCC's funding has come from the enrollment fees of its cadets and officers, the Navy League of the United States, private sources, volunteers, parents and through appropriations from the DOD's annual budget. The USNSCC is a national youth leadership development organization that promotes interest and skill in naval disciplines while instilling strong moral character and life skills through leadership and technical programs modeled after the Navy's professional development system.
Today's U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps continues to further the image of our maritime services by adhering to a standardized training program designed to:
Develop an interest and ability in seamanship and seagoing skills
Instill virtues of good citizenship and strong moral principles in each cadet
Demonstrate the value of an alcohol-free, drug-free and gang-free lifestyle
Expose cadets to the prestige of public service and a variety of career paths through hands-on training with our nation's armed services