If you are thinking of joining the unit, then you must have plenty of questions. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions, if the question you have is not here then just email the webmaster we will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Q. What are the sea cadets ?

A. Sea Cadets are boys and girls between the ages of 10 to 18, who have an interest in the water, boats, engines, sea lore, military training, naval history, physical fitness, learning team spirit and cooperation, having fun with like minded kids and adults, etc. They are people who are looking for an adventurous, rewarding and enjoyable experience with a strong nautical theme. On reaching the age of 18, cadets, with suitable advancement, can apply to become adult civilian instructors or uniformed Petty Officers.

Q. What do the sea cadets do?
A. All Sea Cadets receive instruction in a wide variety of new skills. Cadets have the opportunity to get involved in many activities. Not just at the Unit, but also with other cadets throughout the U.K., as well as experiencing life afloat or in a Royal Navy shore establishment. Cadets interested in sea training get the opportunity to experience voyages (at highly preferential rates) on a fleet of power and sail training vessels operated by the Sea Cadets Association. But for many cadets, their first experience of life afloat is often on inland waters, where they can learn to sail, canoe, windsurf, row or operate a powerboat under close supervision by qualified instructors.

Q. Why become a sea cadets with Tameside Unit?
A. Because it's great fun and you will learn all kinds of really interesting things. You'll go to places none of your friends will probably ever have the opportunity to go to! If you are drawn to the sea, then this is the outfit for you! Tameside unit is also in the top 5 list of units in the UK, we have excellent facilties and continue to offer wide and varied activities to our members.

Q. What are the reequirments to join?
Q. What the membership requirements to join?
A. All prospective cadets must be between the ages of 10 to 18 years and have parental consent. They must possess good moral character, in addition to being interested in the programme and being prepared to attend parade nights regularly. You dont have to attend weekends but we find the more you do in the sea cadets, the more you learn, grow and become an independent young person.

Q. How long does it take to join?

Q. How long does it take to join?
A. You can join with the minimum of fuss and delay. You will normally be enrolled as a new entry and we will give you some introductory training. This is designed to put you at ease when you parade in uniform for the first time.

Q. When are the Parade Nights?
A. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 19:15 - 21:15 (7.15pm-9.15pm).

Q. Do we only do drill during parade evenings?
A. No. Drill is a very small part of the training provide. Off course when we are going to be on parade in public we do practice, but parade nights involve more than just drill, we do advancement training on Tuesday nights which helps cadets move up through the ranks and on Thursdays do specialist training such as Expedition Training, Sailing, Canoeing, Communications etc.

Q. What do we do at our parades?
A. Our meetings are like many other uniformed organisationsl. We teach marching, discipline, military history and traditions, first aid, weapons respect, field operations, shipboard operations, mechanics, etc.

Q. I sometimes have other activities on one of the Parade nights. Can I attend only one night a week?
A. Yes, but to be fair to yourself, the staff and other cadets, you should attend well over 50% of Parades. If you only come occasional you will not get the full benefit of the training provided.

Q. Are there any compulsory parades?
A. Each cadet must attend a number of ceremonial parades during the year: the Annual Trafalgar Day Parade, on the anniversary of Admiral Lord Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in 1805; the Remembrance Sunday Parade; and the Annual Royal Naval Inspection are the three main ones.

Q. Do I have to pay for parade evenings I don't attend?
A. Yes, unless a request for leave has been put in or if the cadet is ill and notifies the ships office. If you do not request leave the amount will be deducted from your deposit should you leave and is at the discretion of the commanding officer.

Q. What equipment and clothing is provided by the unit?
A. The unit will normally provide all Uniform and appropriate safety equipment for activities to enable the cadet to participate in the activities on offer. The cadet will be provided a pair of shoes but should also provide a pair of boots or shoes for parades that are kept clean for ships visits and parades. Presentation is important in the sea cadets.

Q. What do my parents have to do to enable me to take part?
A. Parental consent in the form of a P10 when you first join is required. Then every time you undertake any activities away from the unit parents will need to sign a T1 (Consent Form) which the staff keep with them for that activity..

Q. Can my parents visit the Unit?

A. Yes, parents and friends are always welcome, but we ask that visitors bear in mind that Cadets may be under instruction, so let us know if you want to come down, we can provide tours, explain what we do and also show the sea cadet and units own personal DVD to see what its all about. The DVD contains pictures and video of our cadets and other cadets around the country in action and at play.

Q. Can parents become involved with the unit as well?
A. You most certainly can - we need your participation! Whatever time or skills you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Remember the unit is a charity and all its staff are unpaid volunteers so the more help th ebetter. Just speak with the Commanding Officer about what our unit's current needs are and how you might be able to contribute.

Q. What commitment do I have to make?

A. Sea Cadets undertake to attend parade nights on a regular basis, to take care of their uniforms and to obey their instructors.

Q. Who runs the unit and what qualifications do they have?
A. The Unit's Commanding Officer runs the unit on a day-to-day basis. All staff undergo training in the requirements of the Sea Cadet Corps, but any skills they already possess are put to good use. All supervisory staff are required to follow the Sea Cadets 'Code of Conduct' and are subject to vetting procedures before being offered a unit appointment.

Q. What about the physical requirements?

A. Applicants should be fit or be willing to get fit to get the best out of what the sea cadets have to offer.

Q. What about boys and girls with disabilities?
A. The Sea Cadets welcome young people with disabilities.

Q. What does all this cost?
A. Surprisingly little. Contributions to Unit expenses are £2.00 a night for parade nights. This is to cover normal parade activities. Occasionally, outside facilities are hired to aid training i.e. swimming, football, where an additional small contribution may be required to offset costs. Unit camps, weekends, and six-day courses away usually cost between £2.50 to £6 per day. Event a weeks course, food and travel at Royal Navy base can cost as little as £35.00.

Q. Is the uniform expensive?
A. You do not have to purchase a uniform - it is available on loan from the Unit. Please note that we provided cadets with a pair of shoes but parade boots or shoes are not normally provided. You must purchase slides for your working uniforms (£3.00) but as long as you dont lose these you can swap them each time you advance so its a one off purchase.

Q What about insurance?
A. All Cadets and staff are fully insured to take part in Sea Cadet activities..

Q. Do cadets get a chance to go on a wide range of ships, such as Frigates, Destroyers and large aircraft carriers?
A. Yes. The Royal Navy actively encourages visits to HM Ships. In fact, some of the courses on offer take place on board ships.

Q. Do I have to go on courses?
A. No. Courses are not compulsory, although we do like Cadets to attend as many courses as possible in order to get the most out of the Sea Cadet Corps.

Q. What opportunities are there for promotion?
A. We adopt similar structures to the Royal Navy. You will start as a New Entry, become a Cadet, then Ordinary Cadet, Able Cadet, Leading Cadet, and eventually if you work hard, attain the highest cadet rate of Petty Officer Cadet. All before reaching the age of 18. This sort of advancement will show perspective employers your committment and hardwork and that you are able to work as a team.

Q. What are the rates and minimum requirements?
A. (1) Cadet: Completion of the New Entry Training. (2) Ordinary Cadet: Completion of the Ordinary Cadet Test and 8 advancement points gained. (3) Able Cadet: Completion of the Able cadet test and 15 advancement points gained. (4) Leading Cadet: Completion of the Leading Cadet advancement course at HMS Excellent (Portsmouth) and 30 advancement points gained. (5) Petty Officer Cadet: Completion of the Petty Officer Cadet advancement course at HMS Excellent and 60 advancement points gained. {Advancement points are awarded when a cadet qualifies in a particular specialisation or proficiency.}

Q. What about Staff Ranks?
A. Unlike cadets though, staff do not have advancement points. (1) Civilian Instructor: any adult who is prepared to give up their free time to assist with teaching cadets will normally start out as a civilian instructor. After 9 months, a CI may apply to become a uniformed member of staff and join the Unit as a PPO. (2) Probationary Petty Officer: If a cadet reaches the rank of POC by/at the age of 18, then the next stage is advancement to PPO. (3) A PPO has three years in which he/she must complete a one week qualifiying course. (4) Chief Petty Officer : after a number of years as a PO, it is possible to be promoted to CPO. This involves another course. (5) Warrant Officer: There is one WO per area. (6) Midshipman: this is the rank of a non-commissioned officer in the SCC. Midshipmen need to pass a Junior Staff Officer Course before they are promoted to Sub-Lieutenant. (7) Sub-Lieutenant : S/Lt is the lowest of the commissioned ranks available in the Sea Cadet Corps and can be attained from the rank of PO or CPO after a period of time. (8) Lieutenant: after a period of time serving as a Sub Lt., an officer may be promoted to Lt. (9) Lieutenant Commander : an officer has to be either a District Officer, or CO of a very large unit. Lt Cdr. is the highest rank a Sea Cadet Officer can achieve.

Q. How about awards, badges etc?

A. You will be awarded badges (modelled on those worn in the Royal Navy) to be worn on your uniform when you reach certain levels of skill in an activity or upon promotion to a higher rate. All Cadets have the opportunity to attend courses in which they can qualify for nationally recognised awards such as Royal Yachting Association, British Canoe Union and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. In addition, any Cadet that has maintained good conduct through out the first three years of enrollment is entiled to 'a good conduct stripe' for each year.

Q. Must I be able to swim?

A. No. Lots of youngsters who join are not able to swim, but we hope you will learn while you are with us. There are within the Corps qualified swimming instructors, you only need to be able to swim for some boating activities and too be promoted to Leading Cadet.

Q. I want to join the Royal Navy or Royal Marines when I am older. Will Sea Cadets guarantee my entry?
A. No, but on your application to join the Services, the the Careers Officer will ask your Commanding Officer for a report on you. Should you successfully pass the entrance exam, then good attendance and "taking part" in Cadets will prove to be an advantage. As a matter of interest, a large part of the serving naval personnel originated in the Sea Cadet Corps.

Q. Am I expected to join the services?
A. A cadet is not expected to join the armed forces once they leave. The Sea Cadets is not a pre-service organisation, but it does enjoy a close relationship with the Royal Navy.

Q. Can I stay in the Cadets as long as I like?
A. Yes, providing you have reached the rate of Cadet Petty Officer by the time you are 18. Then, if you wish, you may become either a Probationary Petty Officer on the staff or a Civilian Instructor.

Q. Can I leave when I want?
A. Yes, but most Cadets once they have joined normally stay - if there is anything you are not happy with or worried about you can see your divisonal officer, the training offier or the commanding officer and we will do our best to help.

Q. Do I have to go to sea?

A. A number of our recruitss enrol as Sea Cadets without a desire to 'go to sea'. These cadets can undertake a variety of land-based activities, which include adventure training, ceremonial drill, physical training, communications, cook/steward, information technology, first aid, etc The training in the sea cadets is useful in any sort of vocation, we teach leadership, committment and independance helping young people achive and experience more..

Q. What does the general public see?

A. The Sea Cadet Corps is proud of its public ceremonial presentations. Each cadet will be trained to perform simple drill movements at attention and on the march, with and without ceremonial drill-purpose rifles. The older cadet will get the opportunity to become more proficient, leading to Instructor status.

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