Plymouth Whitrmarsh High School sophomores Emma Manley and Paul Gaffney both attended the United States Naval Sea Cadets Corps’ (USNSCC) Petty Officer Leadership Academy (POLA) training over their winter breaks at the Newport, RI Navy base. Both students graduated from the program on January 1, 2020.
Emma Manley, a Distinguished Honor Roll student at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, received the highest honor of Battalion Honor Graduate. She was selected from more than 130 Cadets from over 20 states who attended the training. She also received two Challenge Coins from Master Chief Barry Crawford, USN (Ret) and Public Affairs Officer DiPippo, for her hard work and perseverance during the training.
POLA training is academically intense, includes participation in lectures and small group discussions, requires significant reading each night (100+ pages), is both reflective and theory-based, and is physically challenging with daily physical training exercises. It is one of the most challenging courses offered by the USNSCC.
Manley and Gaffney are Sea Cadets from the Mason DDG 87 Division of the USNSCC. One weekend every month they drill with their unit at the Philadelphia Navy Yard or the US Coast Guard Base.
The USNSCC is the only federally-sponsored nationwide youth association within the U.S. Department of Defense. It has also been designated by the United States Coast Guard as their primary youth program.