AWESOME CADET: VOYAGE TO EXCELLENCE: The Inspiring Journey of the Navy League Cadet of the Year

April 19th 2023
AWESOME CADET: VOYAGE TO EXCELLENCE: The Inspiring Journey of the Navy League Cadet of the Year

The Journey to success is a path that we all aspire to take but this road is often a long and winding road filled with so many obstacles, setbacks and challenges. But for those who are willing to put in the hard work, and stay committed to their goals, the rewards can be truly extra-ordinary. Simply put, success requires efforts, dedication and perseverance; the kind that was shown by Abigail Moss, winner of the prestigous 2022 Navy League Cadet of the Year. 

In this edition of Awesome Cadet, we have the pleasure of speaking with Abigail Moss, an exceptional Cadet who has demonstrated a passion for learning, and a commitment to outstanding leadership skills.  

We will dive into her experiences in the Navy League Cadet program and learn more about what it takes to achieve this prestigious honor.  

1) Tell us the story of how you joined the Cadet Organization. What motivated you to initially join and what has kept you engaged and involved in the program? 

I originally joined because my older brother was in the Navy League Cadets and enjoyed the program.  The program has always been a part of our family - my grandfather was a training officer and my uncle was the Commanding Officer of my Corp for many years (before I joined).  I especially wanted to participate in the training on the range! 

2) What have been the highlights of your cadet career? 

It's hard to say, because most of my time in as a Navy League Cadet was during the Covid years.  I signed up in March 2019 ( just on my 9th birthday!) and was able to attend two Divisional Camps before all Divisional competitions were cancelled due to the Covid restrictions.  I had the opportunity to practice on the range and it was a lot of fun, but I would have loved to compete on the range.  My Corps Officers worked hard to organize small competitions within our Corps, but it is not the same as being able to meet and interact with Cadets from other Corps in the Division. 


 3) One of the goals of the Cadet program is to develop future leaders and active citizens with a genuine interest in their community and country. How do you think your participation in the Cadet program has set you up for success as you are faced with challenges in the future? 

Being a part of the Cadet program inspired me to join my school's Leadership Club, which organizes fundraising events and fun activities within the school. As a senior Cadet who helped plan and organize lessons and presentations for ECA on Zoom, I learned a lot about how to work around restrictions by watching Cadet Officers work so hard to keep the Cadet Program fun and interesting despite all of Covid's restrictions 


4) How did you feel winning the Navy League Cadet of the Year, and what advice would you want to share with those who might be on the fence about joining the Cadet programs? 

I was very excited and happy when I won the Navy League Cadet of the Year, and thrilled that at that point, Covid's restrictions were relaxed enough to do an ECA in person. My older brother was the Division Cadet of the Year in 2020, and getting an award like that from Zoom just wasn't the same as being able to shake the hand of the Division President!  The reviewing officer even said in his closing remarks that I should consider joining the Navy when I'm older, because the Navy needs people like me!  It was a fantastic way to end my career as a Navy League cadet.  I was also very happy to still be able to wear my Medal as a Sea Cadet. It makes for a great way to start conversations with people when I'm in uniform!  I wore my uniform to school for the Memorial Day assembly and so many of my friends asked me what my Medal was for.  Anytime my friends ask me about the Cadet program, I'm always happy to tell them how much fun it is, how we get to do all kinds of activities that you can't do outside of Cadets (like the shooting range), and I always encourage them to give it a try! 

 5) If you were to address the national partners in the Leagues and DND/CAF, what advice and recommendations would you provide on how to make the Cadet Programs more attractive to young people and how to rebuild the program after the restrictions of the past two years? 

The Navy League Cadet Program activities are so much fun and kids are more interested in them, but we need to find ways to reach them by advertising on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, etc. and highlighting the special activities that are offered in the Cadet Program.  I have Navy League friends who left the Sea Cadet program after less than a year because there was nothing new and different.  Perhaps it would be helpful to have some sort of reward for completing the Navy League program, such as the ability to take a test to get out of the lower ranks of the Sea Cadets and get promoted faster. I think most of the activities in Phase 1 are the same as those in the Navy League, and that can be boring.  I tried to keep my interest by helping my friends who were not Sea Cadets like me, but I still feel like I am repeating a year.  I understand that not all Cadets do three years in the Navy League, but for those of us who did, we should be able to test the things we already know (like tying knots, standing drill, etc.) and progress more quickly through Phase 1.  I was also disappointed that there is still no summer training for under 14s - if we can join the upper Cadet programs at age 12, we should be able to participate in training if we want to.  I'm 13 and can't get the training I want because it's 14+. 

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