Our Mission

Since March 24, 1964, Top Hatters Squadron has instilled pride, professionalism, and leadership in youths 10-18 years old. At 60 years old, Top Hatters Squadron is among the oldest Naval Sea Cadet Corps Units in active commission. 

Based on-board Naval Station Norfolk, Top Hatters provides a challenging and rewarding educational environment, closely aligned to our Nation’s sea-going services. 

As a non-profit youth organization, Top Hatters Squadron is operated by an all-volunteer staff of active duty service members, retirees, veterans, and civilians alike.

Why Join?

The U.S. Naval Sea Cadets provides a unique perspective into military life. For some, the opportunity to find life-long mentors and develop professional relationships is invaluable. For others, the comradery and hands-on training experience simply cannot be replaced. 

We accept youth in the 5-8th grade into the Navy League Cadet Corps, here they will do coursework and trainings to fit their age levels. Cadets 9-12th grade enroll as part of the Navy Sea Cadet Corps. Sea Cadets have advanced coursework expectations and training opportunities. Some of these advanced opportunities include winter survival, STEM training, scuba diving, submariner experiences and the International Exchange Program.

In addition, the Naval Sea Cadet Corps has unique scholarship opportunities, with a multitude of different scholarship funds contributing to the advanced education of exceptional cadets. 

U.S. Navy support is set forth by Congress in the NSCC charter, which states the NSCC will accomplish its mission “through organization and cooperation with the Department of the Navy.” Navy Recruiting Command is the Sea Cadet program manager for the Navy. Official support of the NSCC is discussed in OPNAVINST 5760.5D, Navy Support and Assistance to Youth Groups. Sea Cadets who achieve the grade of E-3 or higher in the program may enlist in the Navy at the pay grade of E-3.

The USCG has long been one of the organization’s premiere supporters. Commandant (CG-09223) manages the service’s relationship with the NSCC. Official support of the NSCC is discussed in the CG External Affairs Manual, COMDTINST M5700.13. The NSCC is designated as the primary youth program the Coast Guard supports. Sea Cadets who achieve the grade of E-3 or higher in the program may enlist in the Coast Guard at the pay grade of E-3.