Sea Cadets helps teenagers to stretch themselves and become the best they can be. We know what that takes because we've been doing it for over 160 years.

The turbulence of youth

The pressures that young people face are ever-changing, but what remains constant is that the teenage years can be turbulent. Independence is exciting, but also daunting.

For orphans of the Crimean War, sleeping in the back streets of England’s sea ports, life looked bleak. To help them, coastal communities banded together to provide places for sailors to pass on nautical skills and training to give these destitute young people a future. This is how, in 1856, the Naval Lads’ Brigade was born.

Royal patronage

Soon, they were springing up across the country, and in 1899, Queen Victoria marked their importance to young people by becoming Patron, and giving £10 to the Windsor unit for uniforms.

Today, HM The Queen is our Patron and HRH The Prince Andrew Duke of York KG GCVO is our Admiral of the Corps.

Scroll through our gallery to learn more about our rich history....

We are named after USS Nautilus which was the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine.

USS Nautilus was the first submarine to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole on 3 August 1958.

She served the US Navy between 1954 until being decommissioned in 1980.

Nautilus was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Secretary of the Interior on 20 May 1982. she is on permanant display at Submarine Force Library and Museum in New London, Groton, Connecticut and attracts approx 250,000 visitors a year.

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