Henderson says the Sea Cadets program was recommended to her by her son’s Jewett Academy Middle School guidance counselor. “At first, I was intimidated by the program because I don’t have any military background and no interest in the military,” she says. “I had thoughts about boot camps for bad kids, but it’s not that at all. It’s really all about learning to work in groups, and as a team, getting career opportunities, learning drills and training.” Henderson says she’s seen a change in her son since he joined the Sea Cadets three years ago. “I have seen him getting more mature, he’s relishing responsibilities and being a leader with the younger cadets,” she says. “He’s seeing how his behavior can affect others. He’s making friends with other kids his age and older than him who have goals, and he’s starting to develop goals, too. He says he wants to be a marine.” While the Sea Cadets program grooms participants in the ways of the military, enlisting after completing the program is not required. “They don’t have to enlist, but they have the option to enlist as E3 in the Navy, Coast Guard or Marines,” Jennifer Anderson says. “If you’re in JROTC at one of the high schools, you get to enter as E3, but only in the Army. Our program gives you three options.” Even without plans to enlist, the Sea Cadets program offers opportunities for students that are transferrable to many careers. Jarod Anderson is most proud of his scuba diving training. “When I was 11, I got scuba certified and it changed my life,” he says. The dive training has taken Jarod Anderson to great depths – literally. “I have dived down to 100 feet in the ocean, I got to dive in the Epcot aquarium,
Top: Cadets relax I’ve been in some of the for chow at Field springs, Weeki Wachee, and Operations at the Green Swamp on I’ve dived to a shipwreck,” MLK Jr. weekend. he says. “I’m advanced nitrox Bottom: Cadets certified, so I can go deeper line up in preparation to do the than you can with just passing of the flag regular oxygen.” ceremony at the With plans to enlist in unit’s annual banquet in February. either the Coast Guard or Photos provided to the Navy, Jarod Anderson The 863 Magazine. says he wants to be a rescue diver. “If someone was considering joining (the Sea Cadets), I’d tell them whatever your interests, you can do them here,” he says. “You don’t have to enlist. Whatever you want to do, this program is going to make you look good.” To learn more about the local Sea Cadet unit, called USNCC Marvin Shields Seabee Battalion, visit usnscc-msb.com.
Published on May 10, 2017
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