Paducah Propeller Club Donation Funds Teen Cadets’ Uniforms

A donation from the Port of Paducah (Ky.) Propeller Club means new U.S. Navy Sea Cadets have the dress uniforms needed to pass their annual inspection.

The club gifted the Land Between the Lakes division of the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps with $2,000 at its November 12 meeting. Club president Caleb King presented the check. Crystal Crim, the division’s administration officer, accepted it.

The division formed in February and has 18 cadets between the ages of 10 and 17, with more joining each month, Crim said. The cadets drill at the U.S. Army National Guard armory in Benton, Ky. Cadets are divided into the Navy League Cadet Corps for youth ages 10 through 13 and the Naval Sea Cadet Corps for older youth. At each level, committed adults and peer leaders, often with a military background, mentor them.

Many of the cadets come from limited means.

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“Over half our kids come from single-parent households,” Crim said.

The chapter has been looking for sponsors to make sure that every child who wants to participate may do so regardless of their family’s financial situation.

Cadets come for their monthly drills from as far away as McKenzie, Tenn., and Harrisburg, Ill., each more than an hour’s drive away, as the chapter is the only one in the region. Some are looking for the opportunities being a Sea Cadet can bring. The cadets commit to being drug-free, alcohol-free and gang-free and must attend school full-time, maintaining at least a C average.

“If a cadet stays in four years, he or she can have the opportunity for a full scholarship without any requirement to join the military,” Crim said.

Those who do join the military can enter as an E3 rank.

The Sea Cadets provide recreational opportunities as well, such as an October camping trip to the Shawnee National Forest that was the first time many of the cadets had ever stayed in a tent. Cadets also train aboard U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships and have the opportunity to participate in training events around the country, studying fields such as aviation, field and medical training, leadership development, military police science, scuba diving, seamanship, photojournalism and sailing.

Parents appreciate the program as well.

“They’re already telling us how their children are changing because of this program,” Crim said, adding that many cadets get an attitude adjustment and learn more about treating adults with respect when taught the core values of the U.S. Navy.

For more information about the division, visit its Facebook page titled Land Between the Lakes Division- United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps or for more information about the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps in general, visit