Military Wiki
Marine Society and Sea Cadet Corps
SCC Ensign
Active 1854 - Present
Role Ministry of Defence Dept.
Headquarters MSSCHQ
Motto(s) Ready Aye Ready
Captain Captain Mark Windsor

The Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) forms the UK's largest Naval Cadet Force with over 30,000 cadets and adult volunteers. The SCC is a nationwide voluntary youth organisation; open to young people aged 12 to 18. Junior Sea Cadet sections, are open to young people aged 10 to 12 years of age. Those aged from 12 and 6 months to 18 may also join the Royal Marine Cadet Detachments (RMCD), as Royal Marine Cadets.

The aim of the SCC is to help young people towards responsible adulthood and to encourage them to reach their potential by developing valuable personal attributes and high standards of conduct, using a nautical theme based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy. Cadets also follow the same rate/rank structure, of their parent armed service, the Royal Navy and for Royal Marine Cadets the Royal Marines.

The Corps welcomes young people and adults of all abilities, within the bounds of safety to themselves and others, and actively seeks to widen the diversity of its membership. It is affiliated to the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS), the major representative body for United Kingdom youth organisations and is represented by NCVYS on the Council of the National Youth Agency

Whilst the SCC is not a pre-service organisation, a significant number of former Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets do go on to join the Royal Navy, Royal Marines or other sections of the Armed Forces.

HM The Queen is the Patron of the Sea Cadet Corps and HRH The Duke of York is the Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps.


Sea Cadet

National level

The SCC has two principal sponsors, the Marine Society & Sea Cadets (MSSC) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the MSSC and MOD, sets out their common interest in supporting the SCC in achieving its aims. The MOD supports the SCC by providing the MSSC with an annual grant-in-aid, loaning it equipment, a small number of serving Royal Naval and Royal Marine personnel. It also provides access to certain MOD facilities. The SCC is composed of individual Sea Cadet Units, located throughout the United Kingdom and elsewhere, with a central support management and training structure provided by the MSSC.

The MSSC is an incorporated registered charity. The governing body of the MSSC, the MSSC Council, delegates authority for the day to day control of the charity to the MSSC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who manages the SCC through a small headquarters staff, which includes the Captain Sea Cadets and Director of Operations (CSC) Capt Phillip Russel RN. The MSSC directs the conduct of the SCC through Sea Cadet Regulations (SCR), provides guidance and gains assurance through Unit inspections to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained within the SCC.

Area level

The country is divided into six geographical areas which are:

  • Northern (also including Northern Ireland)
  • North West
  • Eastern (including Malta)
  • South West
  • Southern (including the Falkland Islands)
  • London (including Essex.)

Each area has an Area Officer (AO) who is a serving Royal Navy Commander or, occasionally, a Royal Marine Lieutenant Colonel and based in area offices.

In addition to the AO each area also has:

  • A Deputy Area Officer (DAO) - assists the Area Officer
  • An Area Logistics Officer (ALO) - in charge of stores and MOD(N) issued equipment and mustering unit's stores once a year
  • An Area Training Officer (ATO) - in charge of area level training
  • A Business Management Director - in charge of financials and point of contact for Unit Management Committees
  • An Area Staff Officer (ASO) for each discipline - responsible for controlling that discipline in the area and reporting to HQSO and AO.
  • A Senior Staff Officer (SSO) - the most senior SCC officer in the area, assists the AO, manages Area Office and ASOs.

District level

Each area is subdivided into districts of between five and 12 units. In charge of each district is a District Officer (DO) who is normally a Lieutenant Commander(SCC) (RNR) or Major(SCC) (RMR). Each district also has a Deputy District Officer (DDO) or an Assistant District Officer (ADO), as well as District Training Officers. These positions are staffed by volunteers. Some districts have District Staff Officers (DSO) or District Coordinators (DC) for some disciplines.

Unit Level

Units of the SCC are formed solely by volunteers in local communities. Each Unit is a self-supporting, local youth organisation and an independent charity. It becomes a part of the SCC by virtue of its affiliation to the MSSC, the parent body of the SCC. In accepting this affiliation the Unit undertakes to comply with all regulations issued by, or on behalf of, the MSSC Council. Each Unit consists of a Unit Management Committee (UMC) whose members are the Unit charity trustees, instructional staff and a body of Sea Cadets. Ideally, it will also include a Parents’ & Supporters’ Association (P&SA).

The Royal Marine Cadet Section

Female Marine Cadet

Just as the Royal Marines are part of the Royal Navy, so the Royal Marine Cadets are part of the Sea Cadets. The Royal Marine Cadet Section (MCS) exists inside the SCC, and its structure matches that of its Sea Cadet counterparts.

National Level

The operational head of the MCS is the Staff Royal Marines Officer (SRMO), who is a serving Colour Sergeant on secondment to the MSSC from the Royal Marines. He is responsible for overseeing the running of the MCS and reporting to the CSC. He is also responsible for conducting the annual SRMO field assessment which all detachments must participate in. The current SRMO is C/Sgt M Allen RM.

The SRMO is assisted by the Corps Regimental Sergeant Major, who is the senior WO1 in the corps. The current CRSM is WO1(SCC) G Robinson RMR who is also the Royal Marine Cadet Training Officer (MCTO).

Company Level

Companies cover the same area as the Sea Cadet "Area", and each is identified by a phonetic letter the exception being Headquarters Company.

  • HQ - Headquarters Company
  • Northern - Yankee Company
  • North West - Bravo Company
  • Eastern - X-Ray Company
  • London - Lima Company
  • Southern - Zulu Company
  • South West - Alpha Company

Each company has a Company Commander, usually a Major(SCC) (RMR) and in addition, Company staff include:

  • Company 2i/c - Second in Command - Organisation of the Company and Officer Development
  • Company Training Officer - organises Coy level training
  • Company Sergeant Major (CSM) - SNCO Development
  • Company Quartermaster Sergeant - Stores
  • Company Drill Leader
  • Company Medic
  • Company Signals Officer

Troop Level

Since not every unit has a Royal Marine Cadet Detachment, using District borders would result in Troops with one detachment or none. As such, Troop borders, are independent and cross District boundaries. There are several Troops in a Company and are numbered 1 Troop, 2 Troop, 3 Troop etc. Each troop has a Troop Officer and a Troop Sergeant and are made up of about 4-6 Detachments in each.

Detachment Level

Detachments are normally affiliated to Sea Cadet Units and parade alongside the Sea Cadets, they are managed by the Detachment Commander who is responsible for the overall running of the detachment staff and cadet training, stores and welfare.

History of the Corps

The Sea Cadets Corps' Badge and previous logo

The Corps probably has the longest continuous history of any youth organisation in the country. A few of the landmarks in its evolution are summarised below.

1856 - A clergyman who had returned from the Crimean War was so concerned at the number of single-parent and orphaned boys resulting from the loss of so many soldiers and sailors, that he established an orphanage at Whitstable, enlisting the help of sailors who had returned from the war. A number of similar orphanages, including ones at Whitby, Brixham and Deptford, soon followed and, by the end of the 19th century there were 'Brigs' or 'Brigantines' in several towns, some independent, some loosely organised into 'Naval Lads’ Brigades'.

1899 - Her Majesty Queen Victoria graciously presented a £10 note to the Windsor Naval Lads’ Brigade for the purchase of uniforms. Because of the close relationship between the Windsor Naval Lads’ Brigade and the Windsor Branch of the Navy League (see below), the anniversary of this event, 25 June, has been declared the birthday of the Sea Cadet Corps.

1910 - The Navy League, a pressure group formed in 1895 with the aim of influencing maritime thinking in Parliament and reminding the country of its naval history and dependence on the sea, decided also to sponsor a small number of these independent Units as the Navy League Boys' Naval Brigade.

1914 - The Navy League applied to the Admiralty for recognition of its 34 Brigades.

1919 - Admiralty recognition was granted subject to an annual efficiency inspection by an Officer on the staff of the Admiral Commanding Reserves, and the title Navy League Sea Cadet Corps was adopted. There were five other Sea Cadet Corps, all much smaller.

1937 - Lord Nuffield gave £50,000 to fund the expansion of the Corps.

1939 - At the start of the war there were nearly 100 Units with some 10,000 cadets.

1942 - The Navy League's 1941 scheme for training Sea Cadets in TS BOUNTY for service in the wartime Navy caught the Admiralty's imagination. The Admiral Commanding Reserves took over the training role in January 1942, HM King George VI became Admiral of the Corps, Officers were granted appointments in the RNVR and the Corps was renamed the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC). A huge expansion to 400 Units and 50,000 cadets coincided in many towns with Warship Weeks so that newly formed Units took the names of adopted warships. The Admiralty now paid for uniforms, equipment, travel and training while the Navy League funded sport and Unit headquarters. Thousands of Bounty Boys progressed into the Navy as communications ratings, many returning to their Units after the war ended. In the same year the Girls' Naval Training Corps was formed as part of the National Association of Training Corps for Girls with Units mainly in southern England.

1943 - All Units were given Unit numbers in alphabetical order from "1 Aberdare" to "381 York". Thereafter Units were numbered in sequence as they were affiliated to the Navy League, reaching 430 by the end of the war.

1947 - Both the Admiralty and the Navy League wished to continue their involvement with, and a measure of control over, the SCC and they agreed a continuation of their wartime co-sponsorship. The conditions were now embodied in an agreement between them known as the Sea Cadet Charter. Amongst other items, the Admiralty undertook to support a maximum of 22,000 cadets, to supply uniforms, boats, training facilities, travel expenses and limited pay to adult staff who retained their appointments in the RNVR (and, in a later re-organisation, of the RNR). The Sea Cadet Council was set up to govern the Corps with membership from the Navy League and the Royal Navy. A retired Captain took on the task of supervision, first as Secretary to the Council and later as Captain Sea Cadet Corps. From the same date the Girls' Naval Training Corps expanded throughout the country. By the late 1950s there were more than 50 Units and the name had been changed to the Girls' Nautical Training Corps.

1955 - The Commandant General Royal Marines asked permission to form a Royal Marine Cadet section which could be fitted into the existing organisation and the Sea Cadet Council agreed to this. Within 10 years the Royal Marine Cadet section had expanded from the original 5 Detachments to 40.

1963 - It was proposed to amalgamate the three Girls' Corps into one national body, to be called the Girls' Venture Corps. The Girls’ Nautical Training Corps (GNTC), not wishing to lose its naval identity, asked the Navy League to take over its sponsorship and in 1964 it was affiliated to the SCC. In many cases, the GNTC shared premises with local Sea Cadet Units.

1976 - The Navy League was renamed the Sea Cadet Association since support of the SCC and GNTC had now become its sole purpose. At the end of the year the title of Admiral Commanding Reserves lapsed and his functions, including responsibility for the SCC, were transferred to the Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command (CINCNAVHOME) in Portsmouth. The Sea Cadet Charter was revised and replaced by a Memorandum of Agreement.

1980 - On 31 March the Ministry of Defence (Navy) approved the admission of girls into the SCC within the overall ceiling of 22,000. The GNTC ceased to exist as a separate body and its Units were admitted to the SCC to form Girls' Nautical Training Contingents. The number of Contingents, originally set at 120, was raised to 150 in 1983.

1986 - All limits on Contingent numbers were removed by the Admiralty Board and replaced by a limit of 35% of girls in the Corps overall. By late 1991 over 300 Units contained girls.

1992 - The successful integration of the male and female cadets and their adult leaders over the previous eleven years led to the logical step of discontinuing the separate Girls' Nautical Training Contingents from 1 January. Sea Cadets, male and female, now became entitled to identical training. Adult Sea Cadet staff, male and female, became entitled to the same opportunities, insignia, rank, nomenclature and pay. In its Golden Jubilee year the SCC numbered some 400 Units once more with a rising total membership of around 16,000. Beyond the UK, there were Units in Malta and the Falkland Islands, as well as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. This year saw the formal introduction of Junior Sea Cadets aged from 10 to 12 years into the Corps.

1994 - At a conference in Portsmouth an International Sea Cadet Association was formed to encourage international exchanges, to foster the Sea Cadet ethos world-wide and to stimulate the formation of new Corps. Founder members were: UK, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Holland, Japan, South Africa, Sweden and the USA.

1995 - The Sea Cadet Association was reconstituted as a company as well as a national charity.

1997 - The Captain of the Sea Cadet Corps assumed the title Commodore of the Sea Cadet Corps (abbreviated in 2001 to Commodore Sea Cadets).

2004 - The Sea Cadet Association merged with The Marine Society to form The Marine Society & Sea Cadets (MSSC) which became the new parent body of the SCC and the nation’s largest maritime charity. 2005 Fifty years after the formation of the Royal Marine Cadet section, there were for the first time 100 Units with Royal Marine Cadet Detachments.

2007 - The appointment of head of the SCC was assumed by a serving Royal Navy Captain, known as the Captain Sea Cadets and Director of Operations (CSC).

2010 - Sea Cadet HQ decided that the cadets needed rebranding, and so simplified the crest and, on most posters and promotional material, replaced it entirely wit a simplified 'S' shape. several SCC units have complained about this, but have been ignored.


The joining age for Sea Cadets is between 10–18 years old[1] of all backgrounds. The SCC is an equal opportunity organisation, and take children from all walks of life. The cadets can be split into three distinct sections.

Junior Cadet Section

Most Sea Cadet units have a Junior Cadet section for the 10-12 year olds. Junior Cadets have their own training programme and uniform. It is based around a more practical and fun version of the Sea Cadet training programme, but designed for a younger audience. When Junior Sea Cadets turn 12, they may become Sea Cadets either permanently or for 9 months until they reach the age necessary for the Marine Cadets.

Junior Sea Cadet Ranks

Junior Cadets
New Entry
Junior Cadet
Junior Cadet First Class
Leading Junior Cadet

Sea Cadets

Sea Cadets are by far the biggest section. Their training is based around the traditions of the Royal Navy, and in the summer they spend a large amount of time on and in the water. The Sea Cadets is open to anyone aged 12–18.

Royal Marine Cadets

Many Sea Cadet Units also include a Royal Marine Cadet Detachments for 13-18 year olds, who have an interest in fieldcraft, tactics, weapons training, section battle drills, and military skills. As the Royal Marines are an amphibious force, so are the Royal Marine Cadets, who also have access to many Sea Cadet activities.

Sea Cadet and Royal Marine Cadet Ranks/Rate

All ranks from New Entry to Able Cadet in the Sea Cadets are completed on unit level. In order to be promoted a cadet must follow a syllabus that includes completing a number of modules and qualifications in order to be promoted. In order to gain the rank of Leading Cadet one must complete a promotion on area level. Promotion to Petty Officer Cadet is completed on a national level.

Promotions in the Royal Marine Cadet Section, are similar. All Promotions up to Lance Corporal are completed on a Unit or Troop level. The Lance Corporal Boards are completed on Company level, it must be noted until November 2018 the rank of Marine Cadet Class 1 was earned on the same board as Lance Corporal but the rank was scrapped. Cadet Corporal board is again completed on Company level, while Cadet Seargents is completed on National Level. The reason ranks in the Royal Marine Cadet Section do not surpass that of the Air Training Corps, Army Cadet Corps and Combined Cadet Force is due to the sheer arduousness of progressing through the ranks and the age limits involved.

Sea Cadets Royal Marine Cadets
New Entry Recruit
Cadet Marine Cadet
Ordinary Cadet Marine Cadet Class 2
Able Cadet Lance Corparal
Leading Cadet Cadet Corporal
Petty Officer Cadet Cadet Sergeant


TS Royalist

One of the biggest strengths of the SCC is the breadth of activities it offers both onshore and offshore. Some training is compulsory, but most is optional. Cadets are encouraged to take part in as much as possible and to try new things.

Core Training

Core training is the bread and butter of Sea Cadet training, and is directly linked to promotion/advancement.

For Sea Cadets it is called Part 1 training and involves key skills, and vital knowledge about Corps life, traditions of the Royal Navy, water safety, leadership, care of uniform, health and safety, as well as elements of first aid, seamanship, and swimming.

This is mirrored in the Royal Marine Cadets' Phase Training, but also for Royal Marines, fieldcraft, campcraft, map-reading, battle drills and weapons handling are included in Core training.

Specialisation and Proficiency Training

TS John Jerwood

All the following are on offer to cadets, either at the unit or on District/Area/National Courses.

Specialisations Proficiencies Boatwork
Marine Engineering Drill/Ceremonial Dinghy Sailing
Communications Meteorology Pulling (Rowing)
Physical Training Band/Musician Kayaking
Cook/Steward Adventurous Training Power Boating
Marine Engineering Target Shooting Windsurfing
First Aid Diving Offshore Sailing
Seamanship Piping (Boatswains Call) Canoeing

Cadets can also work towards recognised qualifications including, Duke of Edinburgh's Award,[2] BTEC National Diplomas. These are available in Public Service, BTEC First Diploma in Music and BTEC First Diploma in Engineering available exclusively to the SCC.[3]

Many qualifications are run by the Sea Cadets but regulated by external bodies. In these cases, cadets earn independent qualifications that they can take with them outside the Corps. These include Paddlesport, where they can gain PaddlePower or Star Awards through the British Canoe Union (BCU), First Aid, where they can earn St John's Ambulance First Aid awards or Powerboating/Sailing/Windsurfing where they can gain Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications.

National courses are run from Sea Cadet training centres positoned around the country, and most situated within Royal Navy bases and at minimal cost to cadets, they teach skills such as leadership and teamwork. Specialist qualification courses include power boating in Scotland, Parade Training in Portsmouth and fire fighting in Cornwall.

The SCC owns and operates the tall ship TS Royalist, which is also the flagship of the Sea Cadet Corps. The SCC also owns a number of other training ships, such as TS John Jerwood and their newest ship TS Jack Petchey, as well as other yachts.[4]

There are competitions run at District, Area and National levels in many of the sports, proficiencies and specializations of the SCC.

Cadet Force Adult Volunteers

Adult staff are recruited from the age of 18 (though there is no upper age limit, those adults extending beyond 65 require special insurance arrangements). All substantive SCC staff are recognised by the MOD as being Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers (CFAVs). They can be either uniformed or non-uniformed. Officers, Senior Rates form the uniformed adult staff with Civilian Instructors and Unit Helpers being non-uniformed. The calibre and performance of the instructional staff is central to achieving the aims of the SCC.

The SCC does not discriminate on the grounds of age, class; ethnic origin; culture, nationality or race; gender; age; marital status; sexuality; mental or physical ability; political or religious belief or unrelated criminal conviction. However, to ensure that it meets its proper level of duty of care towards its cadets, it follows the practices and standards detailed below.

There are no specific nationality requirements or restrictions to enrolment onto the instructional staff of the SCC, as long as the applicant has the right of abode and to work in the United Kingdom. However other requirements of the enrolment process may lead to an application from a foreign national having to be rejected, particularly if the applicant’s previous country(ies) of origin or abode are unable or unwilling to furnish requested documentation or information.

Applicants for enrolment as instructional staff and unit helpers will be required to apply for a Disclosure to allow them regular and unsupervised access to cadets. UMC members, as trustees of a youth charity, will also be required to apply for a Disclosure.

Adult Senior Rates / Warrant Officers

Sea Cadet Senior Rates Royal Marine Cadet Senior NCOs
Probationary Petty Officer (SCC) Probationary Sergeant (SCC)
Acting Petty Officer (SCC) Acting Sergeant (SCC)
Petty Officer (SCC) Sergeant (SCC)
Chief Petty Officer (SCC) Colour Sergeant (SCC)
Warrant Officer Class 2(SCC) RNR Warrant Officer Class 2(SCC) RMR
Warrant Officer Class 1(SCC) RNR* Warrant Officer Class 1(SCC) RMR*

* one per area

Adult Officers

Sea Cadet Officers Royal Marine Cadet Officers
Midshipman (SCC) Second Lieutenant (SCC)
Sub Lieutenant (SCC) RNR Lieutenant (SCC) RMR
Lieutenant (SCC) RNR Captain (SCC) RMR
Lieutenant Commander (SCC) RNR Major (SCC) RMR
Commander (SCC) RNR Lieutenant Colonel (SCC) RMR

See also


External references

Links to SCC Area websites

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).