Lieutenant Junior Grade Justin Hill is the new Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Whiting Field Division and he wants to let the county know what the Sea Cadets are all about. Hill also covered some of the training sessions they attended this summer.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Justin Hill is the new Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Whiting Field Division and he wants to let the county know what the Sea Cadets are all about. Hill also covered some of the training sessions they attended this summer.

In early 2014 Hill climbed the ranks in leadership of the nonprofit organization and found himself in the commanding officer position. With 18 cadets in his charge, Hill takes his job seriously. As the commanding officer, he said, “I mold the minds of the future,” a motto also quoted at the bottom of the welcome letter for new cadets. He said it’s a program of course work and training that has the ability “to create a better person.”

The Sea Cadets takes youth from 10 to 18 years old or until the summer after high school graduation. One weekend a month, according to Hill, cadets spend time marching, course work, physical training, and often have a fun activity on Sunday. Also from the welcome letter: “Within our division we hold a monthly training weekend to include activities such as naval museum scavenger hunt, camping, community service and much more team building and leadership activities. I truly believe that a well ran division leads to better leaders when they enter the world as young adults.”

Three of his cadets, Hill said, attended special trainings this summer, all at Pine Valley Camp in Meansville, Georgia: Alicia Hailey in League leadership training, Logan Hergott in land navigation, and Wolfgang Hickerson in field medical training. In addition to these three, another trio, Hill said, attended new recruit training, known as RT, “like Navy boot camp.” He noted cadets have to attend RT before they can take part in any other training.

Hailey’s leadership training was for the Navy League Cadet Corps, the junior program for youth ages 10 through 13, according to the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps website at www.seacadets.org. Hill said, “It takes cadets and forms them into better cadets,” giving them skills they can use when they enter the Sea Cadet program.

Hergott’s land navigation, Hill said, taught the cadets how to read grid maps. Also, “if they’re lost in the forest, and only have a compass, they’ll know how to get out.”

Finally, Hickerson’s field medical training, Hill said, was “basically the beginner course of field medical, the FMF corpsman course. They learn how to go in and patch up somebody and extract them. If someone’s shot, they go in and grab them, lay down cover fire, and move in formation.”

Hill said he tries to let parents and interested youth know how much coursework and testing they can expect in the USNSCC. However, he said, “With coursework you make rank.” Hill said he’s had cadets eager to pass a test before next drill take them at his house. “I want these cadets to succeed,” he said.