My grandson, Kris Sullivan, is a member of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. There was a very nice article in the Aug. 2 issue of The Meridian Star about him and I invite you to go to the Star’s Web site and read the article. It will give you some background on the NSCC.

The purpose of this letter is two-fold. One is to bring awareness of the NSCC program to the community. The other is to solicit support for the formation of a unit based here in Meridian.

The National Navy League has been the sponsor of the Sea Cadets since its inception in 1958. I was surprised to learn, especially with Naval Air Station Meridian and one of the largest chapters of the Navy League located here, that virtually no one in the area was aware of the NSCC.

The Meridian Star article on Kris explains that he learned of it by requesting information from the Navy Web site. Due to his age, they directed him to the NSCC Web site.

Please visit it at to learn more about this outstanding opportunity for youth 13 to 17 years of age. Since the article in this paper, the site has had numerous requests for information from The Star’s reading area.

Initially Kris joined the NSCC with a unit in Bessemer, Ala. Several months ago he transferred to a new unit, the Valor Division, formed in Leeds, Ala.

The formation of a unit in Meridian would not only be more convenient on a personal level and would offer him the opportunity to be a founding member — but would also bring this amazing opportunity to other youth in the area who dream of college and/or a future in the military. It is not an expensive program and the benefits are countless.

What is required for the formation of a new unit? A sponsoring organization, adult leaders, a place to meet and potential cadets.

Lt. Cmdr. Tom Klomps, NSCC Southern Regional director for Mississippi, has spoken with Cmdr. Coats, executive officer of NAS Meridian, about the formation of a Sea Cadet unit here. Cmdr. Coats was with Training Wing 5 at NAS Whiting Field before coming to NAS Meridian and is familiar with the Sea Cadets — as Whiting Field has a very strong Sea Cadet program.

The commanding officer at Whiting Field is a retired chief petty officer. Retired and military personnel make excellent leaders as they are already familiar with military regulations, but those without a military background are also encouraged to be Sea Cadet leaders.

NSCC personnel are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy uniforms customized with the NSCC insignia. Sea Cadet training parallels that of Navy enlisted personnel.

Again, I ask you to research the Naval Sea Cadet Corps and lend you support to the formation of a unit at NAS Meridian. If you or anyone you know would be interested in being leaders, please contact Lt. Cmdr. Klomps at (850) 625-4946 or e-mail him at

Cathy Clearman


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