South African Sea Cadets drum up support for SA Navy warships


Sea Cadets from TS Woltemade represented the South African Sea Cadets Corps at the 2019 Armed Forces Day recently held in the Cape Town.  The Sea Cadets performed a precision drill routine they developed especially for the occasion which was performed in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in order to highlight the visit of SA Navy warships.

The South African Navy and Sea Cadets have had a close bond since the inception of Naval Cadets in 1905.  The name changed to Sea Cadets, as it is known internationally, in 1969 when the Navy League incorporated school units.  This close relationship has been maintained during the past 25 years since the advent of democracy continuing to provide youth with opportunities, professional instructors and skills.  There are currently 14 Training Ships (Units) located around the country.

As the Sea Cadets provide youth aged 13 to 17 with maritime and nautical skills it is the logical place for them to start exploring a maritime career, whether in the SA Navy or merchant nay, fishing fleet, ship building or related industries.  Their activities appeal to school going boys and girls from Grade 6 to Grade 12 who enjoy having “Serious Fun” whilst learning leadership, self-discipline and maritime orientated skills.

The land based Training Ships located around the country provide a safe space with competent instructors at which training can take place.  Training takes place on Friday nights or Saturdays with school vacation leadership camps scheduled during the school holidays.  The highlight of the year is the annual camp hosted by the SA Navy in Simon’s Town.

“Action Centred Learning” allied to a practical “Outcome Based Competency Assessment” is the approach which the Instructors follow.  This ensures that Sea Cadets are able not only skilled to “Do” but also to know “Why” they do it and how to “Use” available resources.

Officer Commanding TS Woltemade, Lt Cdr (SCC) Paul Jacobs relayed that the “senior Sea Cadets had two weeks to develop and practice their precision drill routine”.  In order to practice for the stage and quay the Sea Cadets used rope to ensure that their parade was confined to the required size.

The beat of the base and roll of the side drum attracted the crowd who followed the precision drill squad around the harbour from berth to berth.

Sea Cadet Leading Seaman Herwel commented that he “was proud to be part of Armed Forces Day Sea Cadet precision drill squad and that he could demonstrate the positive role which the Sea Cadets had made on his development.”

The younger Sea Cadets fulfilled the role as “uniformed ushers” to direct the public to the warships and to answer any questions as best as they could.  Sea Mila said that “this exercise assisted in the Sea Cadets building confidence whilst ‘flying their flag’ ”.

Those Sea Cadets participating in 2019 Armed Forces Day were rewarded with a special tour of a frigate on the Sunday.