We are proud to share this guest post by LT Jason Heinen, USN about the Alamo Battalion of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC), a leadership program for teens that is sponsored by the U.S. Navy and offers opportunities for training and development.
What Is a Sea Cadet? Mission, Values, and History of Sea Cadets
A Sea Cadet is a future leader. The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) was formed in 1958 by the Navy League of the United States, in response to a request by the Secretary of the Navy as part of the Navy’s efforts to create a favorable image in the minds of American youth. This youth organization is U.S. Navy sponsored and supported, affording various Naval and military related training opportunities. There are Sea Cadet units across the United States and Sea Cadet equivalent international programs in Scotland, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Germany, Sweden, and many more. The local unit in San Antonio, named the Alamo Battalion, was established as a Battalion by the U.S. Navy Seabees in 1997. The mission of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps is to build leaders of character by imbuing in our cadets the highest ideals of honor, respect, commitment, and service.
What Is the Alamo Battalion? Activities, Eligibility, and Training
Alamo Battalion is the local San Antonio Sea Cadet unit. The Alamo Battalion conducts a one weekend a month “drill” from Saturday morning until Sunday at noon. During this time, the Cadets are exposed to various hands-on and instructor-led training including STEM, Firefighting, Law Enforcement, Health and Fitness, Medical, Drill and Formation, Color Guard, Navy Values, and Seamanship and Navigation. During the summer months, Cadets have the opportunity to go to week-long Advanced Training which includes but is not limited to Recruit Training (bootcamp), SEAL and SpecOps, Field Operations, Leadership Academies, Cyber and STEM Training, Aviation Training, Culinary Training, Merchant Marine, Sailing, Submarine School, Master at Arms, and SCUBA Diving.
What Is in It for Me? Benefits of the Training Program for Cadets
The benefits of the NSCC program for prospective Cadets include camaraderie, STEM exposure, nautical training, fitness focus, personal development, and building leadership skills, to name a few. Sea Cadets is not a recruiting organization, though a recent poll showed that 65% of cadets were interested in joining the military. If a Sea Cadet chooses to join military service, there are advanced rank benefits upon joining active duty. Additionally, the Sea Cadet organization has proven to provide Service Academy applicants with military and leadership-based experiences that are well suited for the competitive service academy and ROTC application processes. Sea Cadets also provides yearly college grants to eligible seniors and international exchange opportunities. Additionally, Sea Cadet programs are similar in leadership structure and military benefits to that of Junior ROTC and is a great substitute for young men and women that do not have access to the JROTC program.
Short Sea Stories about Alamo Battalion Cadets
Paul Conroy is a former Alamo Battalion Cadet who is currently a Sophomore at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He spent three years in the Alamo Battalion, which gave him leadership experience and military training that was the foundation to his current success.
Isaac Arredondo is a 2021 graduate and former Alamo Battalion Cadet who is currently attending Marion Military Institute in preparation for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Isaac was able to promote to the highest rank within the Sea Cadets and uses that drive and determination to devote time and focus on his academics.
Seth Allen is currently a Cadet within the Alamo Battalion who was just named as the program-wide Cadet of the Year. He is currently pursuing acceptance into a Service Academy and is leading the Battalion on the weekend drills until he graduates.
How to Contact Alamo Battalion and Get Involved with U.S. Naval Sea Cadets
Charter Moms Chats
Commanding Officer: LT Jason Heinen, USN—Jason M. Heinen enlisted into the United States Navy in June of 2000 from San Antonio, Texas. He attended Nuclear Machinist Mate “A” School, Naval Nuclear Power School, and Naval Nuclear Prototype Unit, subsequently laterally converted to a Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) in November of 2002. Upon successful graduation of “A” school and two “C” schools, he was assigned to the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) in 2003. There he advanced to Second Class Petty Officer, and was selected as JSOQ. This tour included a Persian Gulf Deployment and
Baltic Operations. In 2006, he accepted order to the Personnel Exchange Program Canada, Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Leitrim in Ottawa, Ontario. Highlights of this tour included a three month deployment to CFS Alert, an isolated station lying within the arctic circle approximately 200 miles south of the North Pole, and promotion to First Class Petty Officer. In October 2008, Petty Officer Heinen transferred to the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) as the Leading Petty Officer, member of the commissioning crew, and part of the maiden deployment in 2011. In April 2012, he was commissioned under the Limited Duty Officer Program and upon completion of two intermediate schools he transferred to Fleet Cyber Command/C10F. In October 2015 he transferred to the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and completed one Persian Gulf deployment and supported emergency response efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. In February 2018 he transferred to San Antonio, Texas. He assumed command of the Alamo Battalion in July 2021.
Leading Petty Officer: PO1 Seth Allen, USNSCC—Petty Officer Allen started his Sea Cadet career in Spring 2019. He is currently a Senior at the School of Science and Technology—San Antonio. During his time with the Sea Cadets, Petty Officer Allen has attended Recruit Training, Oceanography, Alcohol and Drug Awareness Training, Fire Fighting Academy, CPR/First Aid Certified at Basic Medical Certification, Cyber Security Training, and Basic Airmen training at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. He was able to meet all the requirements for advancement and made rank to Petty Officer First Class, USNSCC, starting out as a Seaman Recruit. Petty Officer Allen has been selected as the 2021 Sea Cadet of the Year, a national level competition. His other awards include the Alamo Battalion Cadet of the Year awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Youth Medal from the Navy League, Honor Cadet for the Petty Officer Leadership Academy training, Awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award (November 2020). Additionally he is an AP Scholar (July 2020) and AP Scholar with Distinction (July 2021). Currently he has been accepted into UTSA, Texas State, and Texas A&M San Antonio and has received two congressional nominations to the U.S. Air Force Academy (results pending), as well as pending results from the Navy ROTC program at UTSA.
Read More About Leadership Development for Teens
- “The Digital SAT: Tips from Lara Kilgore of Beyond Education,” Lara Kilgore, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 17, 2022
- “KIPP Forward Ensures that All Students See a Path to Success,” Ruben Rodriguez, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 9, 2022
- “Charter school student becomes leader through charity project,” Marvin Hurst, KENS5, September 27, 2021 (Maddox Thompson)
- “USS Lexington hosts graduation for Sea Cadets,” KIII, May 16, 2021 (Seth Allen)
- “Exploring the Paths to Success in High School and Beyond,” Melissa Rayworth, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 8, 2021
- “Why Mentorship Matters to San Antonio Companies and the CAST Schools Network,” Katie Chain, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 25, 2021
- “What You Need to Know About School Counseling Services,” Emily Daniels and Lindsay Durham, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 28, 2021
- “Friend Tree: Draw Strength from Your Community,” Jeff Flores and Khalid Zakaria, San Antonio Charter Moms, July 14, 2020
- “Discussing College and Career,” Lisa Cunningham, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 30, 2020
- “San Antonio High School Internship and Volunteer Opportunities,” Amy Johnson, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 31, 2019
- “Dedicated to a life of service,” Nannette Kilbey-Smith, Wilson County News, April 26, 2018 (John Goodwin)