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Cleveland Hosts Sea Cadets

By Public Affairs Officer LTJG Chris-Dei B. Ramiro, USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7)

SAN DIEGO – Amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland (LPD 7) embarked ten Naval Sea Cadet and their chaperones during a four day at-sea period April 13-17.

Sea Cadets, 14-18 years of age, were a part of two different companies, Challenger Division of Point Loma and Ben Moreell Battalion of Point Hueneme. The cadets shadowed Cleveland Sailors, or ‘running mates’ during the ship’s Amphibious Warfare certification. While at sea, they experienced the daily routine of their running mate with the recovery and launch of small craft and assault vehicles in support of amphibious landing operations and a night replenishment at sea.

For the youngest member in the group, 14 year old Cadet Seaman Apprentice, Johnny Flores, of the Ben Moreell Battalion, it was his first experience aboard a Navy ship and working with Sailors.

“I was able to get a good sense of what the Navy is all about by seeing first hand what they do on a day-to-day basis,” said Flores.

The Sea Cadets had the opportunity to interact with the operators of the landing craft, including Marines assigned to the Third Amphibious Assault Vehicle Battalion. They each observed nearly 150 Sailors from the engineering plant, well deck, and bridge, all engaged simultaneously to successfully launch and recover craft. While working with their running mate, they were exposed to the tenets of the camaraderie, teamwork, and leadership which many of them first learned in the classrooms and playing fields of their high schools.

The Naval Sea Cadet program also provided Cleveland Sailors with the opportunity to share their experiences and demonstrate their personal and professional pride in their work.

“It’s great to see them come out during their spring break to spend the time to see what we do,” said Machinist Mate First Class Dae Kim. “Their eagerness to learn and the enthusiasm they display is very inspirational.”

Since 1958 the Naval Sea Cadet Corps has been committed to providing American youth with a drug and alcohol free environment to foster their leadership abilities, broaden their horizons through hands-on training and guide them to becoming mature young adults. “This program is not designed to force anyone to join the armed services but to mentor,” said Lt. j. g. Anthony Tanner of the cadet Challenger Division. “The training and exposure that this program provides these young adults, through the interaction with active military personnel, is a highly effective mentorship tool.”

Cleveland is a key part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting unit level training in preparation for a regularly scheduled deployment.

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