Clermont Battalion Sea Cadets Graduate
 By Chuck Seaver, South Lake Tablet

The United States Naval Sea Cadets Corps (USNSCC) Clermont Battalion held its annual graduation and awards ceremony at the Performing Arts Center, Clermont on May 19th.

The USNSCC is a congressionally chartered, United States Navy-sponsored organization that teaches individuals about sea-going military services, U.S. Navy operations and training, community service, citizenship, and an understanding of discipline and teamwork. The USNSCC is composed of two age groups nationwide, 10-13 years of age and the senior group, 13-18 years of age. The Clermont Battalion accommodates both age groups of cadets.

The Commanding Officer, LTJG Michael Steidley, opened the ceremony with a congratulatory statement. Steidley, who has been with the unit for 6 years and commanded the battalion for two years, stated “I have been blessed and honored to work with the Clermont Battalion League and Sea Cadets. All of these cadets are unique individuals with a variety of strengths and talents. Many of them have overcome challenges and adversity during their Sea Cadet journey. Each cadet has improved their knowledge, skills, and developed leadership skills. Today represents a year of overcoming challenges and a myriad of successes. As you watch these cadets at today’s Awards and Graduation Ceremony, take pride in the roles that you, as parents, have played in the development and strengthening of these young adults. The cadets in this ceremony are the future of the United States of America – a great country that will be made greater by this auditorium of future leaders.” Gary Schindele,  the former CO who spearheaded bringing the unit to South Lake, looked on with pride.



Guest speaker, (Ret.) Captain Matt “Smoker” Robinson, United States Navy, spoke of his active-duty tour in Afghanistan during projects “Red Crown” and “Task Force Copperhead.”  Captain Robinson’s many assignments included the clearing of roadway improvised explosive devices (IED’s). The roadways were crucial for the safe travel of supply and personnel vehicles to and from bases located within the Middle Eastern combat theatre. An IED is a bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action and upon remote activation, could cause severe injury, including death to personnel.

Pictured: Kiwanis Club of Clermont President Chuck Seaver with cousin Nancy Cummings, presents the Kiwanis Club of Clermont’s Harold Cummings Memorial Scholarship to recipient Chief Petty Officer Alexander Landry

A variety of awards were presented, including:

  • Purple Heart Foundation, PO3 Macie Justice
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, PO1 Reef Steidley
  • Sons of the American Revolution, PO2 Salima Cisse and PO2 Philip Hackett
  • Kiwanis Club of Clermont’s Harold Cummings Memorial Scholarship- Chief Petty Officer Alexander Landry. The chief position is the highest position you can achieve as a cadet in the program.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5277, PO3 Jayden Burns
  • Theodore Roosevelt Youth Medal, PO3 Brodey Fleming and PO3 Kyle Navarro
  • New Sea Cadet of the Year, SN Brandon Budhai
  • New League Cadet of the Year, ABC Philip Tanis
  • Chief Charles Broadway Award, PO1 Jeanine Garcia
  • Most Improved Cadet of the Year, SA Everett McCullough​

CPO Justice received the 2023 Regional Cadet of the year, INST Kathleen Justice received the 2023 Regional Instructor of The Year award, and ENS Calicia Landry received the 2023 Regional Officer of the year. 

The ceremony was closed with the citing of the Sea Cadet Oath, “I promise to serve God, honor our flag, abide by the Naval Sea Cadet Corps regulations, and carry out the orders of the officers appointed over me, and so conduct myself as to be a credit to myself, my unit, the Naval Sea Cadets, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and my country.”

Congratulations to All.

Previous articleVFW Red Poppies: A Symbol of Remembrance and Support
Next articleFlorida Dock And Boat Lifts Celebrates 48th Anniversary