2.5. Uniformed Staff
The rank structure of the Sea Cadets Mirrors that of the Royal Navy and British services in general in being comprised of main groups of people, the Non Commissioned Officers (generally the lower ranks) and the Officers (generally the higher ranks). This as in the British Military leads to some interesting relational issues in that the most senior NCOs (Chief Petty Officers and Warrant Officers) may have considerably more wisdom, experience and knowledge than the more junior officers (Midshipman and Sub-Lieutenants).
If you salute (which we shall come to later) an NCO they may retort with something amusing like ‘Please don't salute me, I work for a living.’ Telling NCO’s and Officers apart is generally easier in the Marines where Officers ranks are usually on their shoulder and NCOs on their sleeve, although some of the modern MTP Camo Wear make it confusing again by having a central rank slide for all.
The uniform that the Sea Cadet staff wear is the basic Royal Navy uniform, although usually it takes us a few years to ‘catch up’ with the latest issue - the Navy are currently in the middle of changes.
This does mean that we need to be aware of the key differences. For the Non-Comissioned ranks this is much harder as most things are very similar save for a ‘SCC’ on the Epaulettes (shoulder)
Petty Officer - Royal Navy
Petty Officer - Sea Cadet Corps
For the Officers the task is easier as all Sea Cadet Officers rank slides are of the ‘Wavy’ rather than Solid type as shown by a comparisons of a Sea Cadet and Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander:
Lieutenant-Commander - Royal Navy
Lieutenant-Commander - Sea Cadet Corps
There are three main types or ranks within the Sea Cadet Corps, namely