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Q: What does USNSCC stand for?

A: The United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) is a federally chartered non-profit civilian youth organization. The Band of the West (BOTW) is a unit in the USNSCC; the BOTW is the only band of its kind in the nation.


Q: Are you a member of the Navy and/or do I have to join the military?

A: No. You are a member of the USNSCC , which is a youth program for young men and women, sponsored by the Navy League of the United States, and supported by the US Navy and Coast Guard. As with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, participation in USNSCC does not create any military service obligation. It does instill similar core values such as honesty, integrity, honor, service, commitment, loyalty and teamwork.


Q: How old do I have to be to join BOTW?

A: You must be a musician in grades 6 through 12. Cadets ages 11-13 are part of the Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC) which is the junior program of the NSCC. Cadets 14-17 are members of the NSCC.


Q: How good of a musician do I have to be to play with BOTW?

A: While our band performs a high quality music program, we encourage interested musicians to come and try it out. If you are still building your music foundation, it is OK to come and train with the band where we will help you to help build your music skills. When you are comfortable and deemed ready, you may be considered to play in our performing band.

Q: What kind of performances do you do?

A: Most of our performances represent a form of public service; including events on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Fleet Week and other ceremonies honoring those in uniform who serve our country. We periodically travel for special events such as the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Ceremony in Hawaii and US Navy League’s National Convention in San Diego and more recently in Washington D.C. of the 70th Anniversary of the End of WWII. In addition, BOTW program offers opportunities to train and perform with professional musicians from military bands around the nation. We are in high demand for performances.


Q: Is the BOTW performing a community service for our veterans and military personnel?

A: Yes, our mission is to honor our veterans, military personnel and their families through our music.

You will EARN COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS for credit at school and college applications purposes.


Q: What kind of music do you play?

A: We perform marches, traditional patriotic music as well as other classic American music including jazz and swing.


Q: Who leads the Band of the West?

A: The BOTW has a team of officers and instructors who are volunteers that support our music program led by esteemed Bay Area music instructors and professional musicians. There is also a cadet leadership team (Leading Petty Officer, Assistant Leading Petty Officer, Master At Arms) that interfaces with the adult leadership team. These cadet leadership opportunities help develop organizational skills and enhance life skills for future endeavors.


Q: Where do you meet?

A: We meet on Sundays (1300-1630) at Cañada College, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd, Building 3 in the Flex Theater, in Redwood City. 

Our musicians are from all over the SF Bay Area and become fast friends.

Q: What other things can I do as a Sea Cadet?

A: As a Sea Cadet, you will have the opportunity to participate in advanced trainings in various technical skills (e.g., scuba diving, sailing, martial arts), personal development (Petty Officer Leadership Academy) and career fields of potential interest (e.g., engineering, aviation, medical, journalism, STEM, culinary arts). Many of these advanced trainings take place in California as well as other parts of the U.S. There is also an International Exchange Program through which cadets can visit countries such as Australia, U.K., Sweden, Bermuda, Japan, Hong Kong, Russia and Canada.

Q: Is there a lot of physical activity involved?

A: The Sea Cadet program promotes healthy living and has certain physical standards for cadets to participate in advanced trainings. A medical examination similar to a high school sports physical is required for all cadet applicants to the Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) or Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC). No one will be denied admission to the NSCC/NLCC due to a medical disability. Where a medical condition precludes full, unlimited participation, a Request for Accommodation may be presented by the parent or guardian for review so the cadet may participate in NSCC activities to the maximum extent possible. Adult applicants must be in good health commensurate with their age group and be free from any ailment or condition that would prevent them from satisfactorily performing their primary duty of supervising youth. NOTE: Adults not physically qualified to perform all duties may still participate with a waiver from NHQ considering the parameters of their expected contribution to the NSCC program. 


Q: Do I wear a uniform?

A: Yes. Cadets are authorized to wear the same uniforms worn by US Navy personnel including the Navy Working Uniform (NWU), dress blues, and dress whites. Patches and insignia differentiate NLCC and NSCC cadets from active duty personnel.


Q: Does participation in BOTW help with my college applications?

A: Yes! In addition to being a unique and meaningful extracurricular activity, participation in NSCC provides vehicles for achieving rank (demonstrating leadership, commitment, dedication) and public service. Achieving rank of Chief Petty Officer is equivalent to achieving Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts and Gold Award in Girl Scouts. Participation in NSCC can lead to possible letters of recommendations from key leaders in our community.

Q: How much does all this cost?

A: This is a federally funded youth program and we also receive donations from many of our sponsors and supporters. BOTW annual participation fee is just $350 plus a one-time $100 uniform deposit, which is returned when you return your uniforms.


Q: How do I join?

A: The best way to see if this is right for you is to come and visit. Bring your instrument! Our band directors will assess your music ability. You fill out an application along with submitting your medical history and last physical exam and submit your annual participation fee of $350 plus uniform deposit ($350 total). You will be issued a US Naval Sea Cadet ID card and we will issue you uniforms.


Q: Can I follow you on on Facebook?  What about YouTube?

A: Yes. Go to to see what activities we are doing and upcoming performances. You may also go on to view some recordings of past performances


Q: I have more questions, how can I contact you? 

A: Please email us at

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