Dec. 16, 1895: The aim of RCSC is to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership; promote physical fitness; and stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land, and air activities of the Canadian Forces

Royal Canadian Sea Cadets

By —— Bio and Archives--December 16, 2009

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Royal Canadian Sea Cadets (RCSC) is a Canadian national youth program sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Navy League of Canada. Administered by the Canadian Forces, the program is funded through the Department of National Defense with the civilian partner providing support in the local community.


This badge is the service crest of the RCSC, and is worn on cadet uniforms as an embroidered jacket patch on issue parkas.

The aim of RCSC is to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership; promote physical fitness; and stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land, and air activities of the Canadian Forces. The RCSC shares this aim with the Army and Air Cadets; however, each focuses on its own parent element.

In 1895, due to concern over the Royal Navy’s ability to provide adequate naval defense, concerned citizens formed the Navy League, to promote interest in the problems of maritime trade and defense.
The League formed local branches throughout the United Kingdom and in other countries of the British Empire. The earliest Canadian branch was formed in Toronto. Its warrant (Warrant No. 5) is dated December 1895, and currently hangs in the Navy League (of Canada) National Office.

At that time, Canadian branches supported a cadet program called the Boys’ Naval Brigades, aimed at encouraging young men to consider a seafaring career and provide basic training in citizenship and seamanship, with a certain degree of success.

At the formation of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in 1910, the organization was renamed from “Boys’ Naval Brigade” to “Navy League Sea Cadets,” to permit closer liaison with the Navy.

In 1942, King George VI graciously consented to be Admiral of the Navy League’s Sea Cadets, and granted the “Royal” suffix, causing another name change, to the current “Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.” Queen Elizabeth continued this Royal patronage and named His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh as the Admiral of the RCSC. Finally, in 1941, the RCN became a joint partner with the Navy League in support of the RCSC.

In 1950 the Navy League Wrenette Corps’ were established for girls aged 13 to 18 years, though some corps existed unofficially before that date. In 1975, the two programs were amalgamated and girls were officially enrolled in Sea Cadets.

In 1995, the Navy League of Canada celebrated its 100th Anniversary. The League promotes the same subjects today, as at its founding: knowledge of, and support for, maritime interests. On a national level, the League supports the International Exchange Program, certain scholarships, and the National Sea Cadet Regatta, while local branches provide vital logistical support to individual RCSC Corps.

There are about 8,000 RCSC across Canada. We live in a country where some things worthwhile are still free. Perhaps not everyone can be a cadet, but future minds of Canada can benefit from cadets.

After all, it’s our history, our country.


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Ronald Wolf -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Ronald Wolf wolfthewriter.com is a college graduate of a renowned journalism program at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario Canada. He has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines in three different countries. He is a former newspaper owner who specializes in photography and writing.

He presently resides in northwestern, Ontario Canada where he continues to research and write articles about Canadian history, Canadian paranormal and other interesting articles.

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