The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps was established in 1958 and is a federally-chartered non-profit youth organization. The Viking Division in Purcellville was established in mid-2015 and currently boasts of 52 cadets ranging in age from 11- 17.
Each year, all Sea Cadet units undergo a rigorous inspection regime. The Purcellville VIKING Division was recently designated the top Sea Cadet unit in the country, beating out 394 other units.
As a result of having placed first in the nation, the unit was invited to attend the U.S. Navy SEAL East Coast Reunion in Little Creek, Virginia.
Cadets were able to observe a SEAL operational capability demonstration, interact with the SEALs and run the SEAL obstacle course.
Petty Officer Second Class Nathan Ellis who attended the event stated, “It was an amazing experience to have the opportunity to meet guys who have worked so hard to be SEALs. It isn’t something most teenagers ever get to do.”
Cadets were also busy this summer attending unique Sea Cadet training opportunities. While new cadets attended a two-week recruit training in various states, more senior cadets attended advanced trainings throughout the country. The unit sent cadets to 30 different trainings across the United States this summer. Training opportunities included, field operations, cyber security, master-at-arms (military police), culinary arts, underwater robotics, unmanned areal vehicle, riverine operations, SCUBA, aviation and petty officer leadership academy.
As a result of attendance at these trainings, 36 of the unit’s cadets were promoted. The unit’s senior cadet, Chief Petty Officer Skyler Powell was one of two Sea Cadets selected to represent the U.S. in an international exchange with the Australian Sea Cadets.
Chief Powell stated, “My trip to Australia was the adventure of a lifetime. It opened my eyes to just how big the world really is and the beauty of diversity. Being able to represent the U.S. was an honor and a privilege I will never forget.”
The unit’s Executive Officer, Chad Ellis said, “We are truly honored to have been selected as the top Sea Cadet unit in the country – a historic event especially for such a young unit.” Ellis continued, “Having been designated the best unit in the country is a testament to all the hard work the cadets, their parents, and our adult volunteers have put into our young program.
Many former Sea Cadets have been accepted into the nation’s military academies and other prestigious educational institutions; have entered the military services at advanced pay grades; and have become top military and business leaders, to include astronauts.