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Sea Cadets on board HMS Prince of Wales

Sea Cadets on board HMS Prince of Wales

Sea Cadets played a full part in welcoming the Royal Navy’s largest warship to the Fleet in Portsmouth.

As part of 2,000 invited guests and in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall as Lady Sponsor, the cadets helped support the commissioning of HMS Prince of Wales in a rousing ceremony in Portsmouth.

Commanding Officer, Captain Darren Houston, read the commissioning warrant to the ship’s company and guests gathered in the hangar, with the First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin as well as Marine Society and Sea Cadets President Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE DL and CEO Martin Coles.

The First Sea Lord’s Sea Cadets plus members of Greenwich Sea Cadets were in attendance to give the invited guests a glimpse of the long-standing relationship between the Royal Navy and Sea Cadets.

The First Sea Lord’s Sea Cadets aged 16 to 17, are picked, from each area to represent the Sea Cadets at many different events.  They also play a crucial role in shaping the future of Sea Cadets as the voice of the cadets.

The cadets act as escort to Navy Board members or other senior Royal Navy officers at appropriate functions such as formal parades, ship visits and presentations.

Claire sea cadets alumni southern area

Claire's story, LegaSea Southern area

How my time spent as a Sea Cadet has shaped my career leading a large team. Read Claire’s story.

Claire was a member of TS Queen Charlotte, Guildford Sea Cadets. As a cadet Claire achieved national success in kayaking and demonstrated a high degree of commitment and determination to pursuing the sport. She won seven national gold medals in total.

In life since, Claire has shown that same determination and commitment in her pursuit of professional development. Sea Cadets was instrumental to Claire starting her career in PR. At the time when she applied for the first job, she was down to the final two candidates and the other individual had a degree in PR. However, it was Claire who was successful in getting the job. The employers acknowledged her skills and experience as a cadet made her the more favourable candidate.

At interview Claire was asked to do a presentation on a topic of her choice and she spoke about the Sea Cadets which landed her the job. She was able to demonstrate transferrable skills through her activities supporting younger cadets and her voluntary charitable work through the cadets.

Claire continues to work in PR and now manages a large team of people in her work. She can still see the benefit of Sea Cadets in her daily professional life. Her ability to lead, take control and even project her voice were all developed during her time as a cadet on the parade ground. Claire can see how Sea Cadets gave her the practical communication skills that she uses every day to manage her team and get the job done. It’s amazing to hear her time as a PO cadet still influences her every day work.

Martin sea cadets alumni legasea

Martin's story, LegaSea South-West area

Martin’s early years at Sea Cadets set him up with an international seafaring career, now he gives back whenever he can.

There are many mariners and seafarers who used to be in the Sea Cadets and there are countless inspirational stories. One that caught our eye is Martin’s story. He’s a young man from Wales who has been in seafaring work almost all his professional life. Even though he is only in his early 30s he’s had impressive career opportunities open up from the seamanship skills he learnt as a cadet.

Martin was a cadet at both Rugby and Fishguard Sea Cadets. He was an active cadet and continued on as an adult officer for a number of years. Becoming really well rounded in all the different skills that cadets offers.

These skills enabled Martin to get his first job teaching watersports, a skill he learnt as a cadet and instructor. After that he went on to have diverse range of seafaring jobs. He worked for the Environment Agency on a coastal survey boat gaining the rank of relief master. Crewed a 3,000 tonne superyacht around the Mediterranean. Worked on search and rescue operations in disaster zones. He has even been a commercial diver, helping to shoot a film working on a film set in China.

Martin now works as a commercial master on the boats for an offshore windfarm and continues to use the skills he first learnt as a cadet.

In his spare time, Martin is a longstanding volunteer with the RNLI. He joined as soon as he was old enough and continues to support their work whenever he is back on shore.

As well as the wide range of experiences professionally that were opened up by the Sea Cadets, the influence of the cadets is also evident in his personal character. Someone like Martin represents the generosity of spirit and commitment to others that runs through so many of the Sea Cadets staff, volunteers and cadets. There is an enthusiasm for doing your bit and helping others, in particular to this case, to stay safe at sea.

Linda legasea tottenham sea cadets

Linda's story, LegaSea London area

An adventure she could have never had in Tottenham, read Linda’s story 

The Girls Nautical Training Corps (GNTC) was invaluable for Linda, a young woman growing up as a Tottenham ‘latchkey kid’. Her experiences as a cadet at TS Wizard meant that she had access to opportunities that her social circumstances would have never ordinarily have allowed.

In particular, Linda reflects on the inspirational role of the women who led the GNTC. She recalls hiking and being in the countryside and taking on adventures that took her out of the city environment and exposed her to a whole other world of possibilities.

One key influence of the cadets on Linda’s life was learning to play the drums as part of the cadet band. This was a skill she continued in adult life and enable her to travel to many new places. Linda went on to become a professional drummer and toured Europe playing music.

Later in life Linda went on to become a civil servant working in local government, in particular, in health and safety. At the time, this remained a male dominated profession and she was a pioneering woman to be present in that role. Looking back, Linda can see how her experiences in the GNTC gave her confidence and the ability to stand up for herself and take the lead even in situations, even when stacked against her.

Now, Linda works in conservation and nature management for a national park and area of natural beauty. She uses her water skills from cadets as she kayaks around the waterways overseeing the wildlife. Rekindling her love of nature and the outdoors, first discovered in the GNTC as a teenager.

Oliver Rio Olympic rowing team GB Champion

Oliver's Story, LegaSea Eastern area

From Sea Cadets to Rio 2016 Olympics Gold, Oliver’s journey.

Oliver from the small town of Stevenage, first started rowing in Sea Cadets, not soon after leaving, the young man went on to win a rowing gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Team GB.

Oliver couldn’t have imaged the journey ahead of him when he first picked up oars as a teenager - a love of rowing was born. He had a committed and inspirational instructor who nurtured his interest and ability. Rowing became Oliver’s primary focus and motivation during his time as a cadet.

After cadets, Oliver went on to be a committed member of his university rowing team. When he came to the end of his studies he had the opportunity to spend a year pursuing elite level rowing. This then led to him being part of the training and development programme leading up to Rio 2016.

Oliver became the cox of the Paralympic LTA mixed four that won three successive World Championships and a gold in Rio 2016.

Now Oliver uses his passion and skills to inspire the next generation of rowers. He runs a rowing education programme in the London area for secondary school aged children. When speaking about how he coaches he can see the inspiration of his former instructor from the Sea Cadets still influencing his work today.

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