A "Sponsor Ship" is an active duty Navy or Coast Guard vessel that "adopts" a Sea Cadet unit. After agreement between the Sea Cadet unit, the Regional Sea Cadet Command and the Command of the sponsor vessel, "adoption" normally consists of some form of formal ceremony initiating the adoption, then on-going mutually-beneficial interaction between the ship and the unit.
Some beneficial interaction from the ship to the unit can include:
- Unit tours or underway cruises
- Invitation to ship social events such as holiday parties, picnics, balls, or other ceremonies
- Direct access to the emblematic items sold by the ships store
- Invitation to ship formal ceremonies such as Change of Command, Inactivation/Decommissioning, Awards/Advancement/Promotion Ceremonies, etc.
- Ship officers or crew to speak/present at unit meetings or functions
- Ship crew SME's lend experience and time to assist with training evolutions
Some beneficial interaction from the unit to the ship can include:
- Recurring awards and recognition of the ships sailors and/or Marines
- Invitations to attend special functions or ceremonies when in homeport
- Hosting individual Sailors/Marines for major holiday meals when unable to return home for the holiday
- Unit fundraising or support of deployment packages, "goodie bags," or sundry items
- Publicizing ship and unit activities with the Navy League, Naval Command or public
- Indirect support to ship member's children, such as providing low cost membership in the Sea Cadet program
Our Sponsor Ship is the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. The ship was named for the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The ship is home to both sailors and Marines. Standard crew complement is 1200 but can increase to 3000 depending on mission specifics. The USS Iwo Jima is an active duty ship and was commissioned in 2001.