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Ben Moreell Battalion was commissioned on January 27, 1971 at CBC Port Hueneme. The original crew included seven adult leaders and 34 cadets led by CDR Billus Whitworth, USN (retired), who served as the unit’s first commanding officer. Ben Moreell Battalion was the first Sea Cadet unit to be modeled after the Seabees and Admiral Moreell himself attended the commissioning ceremony.
In those days, prospective cadets were required to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test along with a regular military physical. Only about one in three cadet applicants passed the written examination. Cadets who successfully completed the Sea Cadet program, however, were eligible to enlist in the Navy at an advanced pay rate and to bypass Navy basic
Both the 31st Naval Construction Regiment and the Naval Construction School (now the Naval Construction Training Center) were originally tasked with providing training support to the unit. The NCTC still provides classroom and training support to Ben Moreell Battalion, especially during annual Seabee Training where regular Navy personnel conduct all construction-related classes. CBC Port Hueneme continues to provide berthing during our training evolutions on a space-available basis.
Ben Moreell Battalion currently occupies spaces on the entire second floor of Building 104, adjacent to the NCTC. The unit was previously located in Building 1156 across the street (now taken back by 31st SRG and under construction) and, before that, in the Teen Center across from the CBC swimming pool.
During its 38 years of active service, hundreds of cadets have learned about naval life, and developed a sense of pride, patriotism, courage, and self-reliance, all within an environment free of drugs and gangs. We will continue to add new information about Ben Moreell Battalion, including profiles of some of those who have passed through our venerable unit.
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