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Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I want to enroll in Marine Cadets of Iowa, do I bring a uniform issue from another program?  

ANSWER:  No. Uniforms issued by another program are that program's property and should be returned to that program promptly upon disenrollment.  

2. Will Marine Cadets of Iowa wear Marine Corps uniforms?

ANSWER:  MCI has proposed to the Marine Corps that we wear appropriately modified Woodland MARPAT (branch tape of IOWA CADETS), appropriately modified Service Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie uniforms (a 3" flash on the left shirt or coat shoulder), and Physical Training gear. We expect approval soon. 


3.  Can an individual be in two cadet programs at once?


ANSWER:  Yes. So long as a cadet can manage the load and balance scheduling, there is no prohibition against this. Several have done this in the past.  

4.  Will MCI cadets pay a yearly enrollment fee?

ANSWER:  Yes. Those fees are not determined but will be in line with costs in the past. 

5.  Will there be monthly activities and summer and winter training?

ANSWER:  Yes. Fees for summer training may be higher depending on the amount of grant funding MCI is able to acquire. 

6.  What will the physical requirements be for MCI?

ANSWER:  Cadets in the junior MCI program will be coached towards USMC Initial Strength Test standards. Senior cadets of higher ranks will have to meet higher standards to achieve those ranks. 

7. Say I went to Recruit Training in Iowa with the Navy Sea Cadets. Will I be expected to do boot camp again?

ANSWER:  No. You will not be required to do boot camp again if you went to boot camp in Iowa and successfully graduated. This only applies, however, if you join Marine Cadets of Iowa prior to 30 April 2022. If you join MCI after 30 APR 2022, you lose any transferrable rank and status and will enter MCI as a cadet Private (E-1). 

8.  So I am a Petty Officer First Class in the Sea Cadets. Does that mean I am E-6 in the Marine Cadets of Iowa?

ANSWER:  Unfortunately, no. There is not 1:1 transferability in the ranking system. We want you adjust to and meet a new set of standards. High-ranking and high achieving transfers are guaranteed a transfer in at a minimum rank of Corporal (E-4). Promotion criteria have been identified. One of our first priorities is to push those with leadership potential to our Corporal's/Sergeant's leadership course and create the conditions for our motivated cadet leaders to promote.  

9.  Why "Marine Cadets"?

ANSWER:  I have 22 years of outcome data on Iowa cadet military ascensions that I can access. Over 85 percent of prior CID Sea Cadets who joined a branch of service selected either the Marine Corps or the Army. Those trends have been remarkably steady. We are aligning this program to the historical interests of Iowa youth. 

10. How can a cadet promote?  

ANSWER:  Promotion is based on a number of factors:  participation (not measured by time in grade), standing a promotion board, observed proficiency, physical readiness standards, swim proficiency, martial arts belt acquisition, and completing required knowledge homework assignments. 

11. What ages will MCI serve?

ANSWER:  We gave this a great deal of consideration. MCI will take motivated individuals ages 11 and above with previous cadet experience; otherwise, new joins must be age 12. An older teen can remain a MCI cadet through high school graduation. Nineteen year old cadets that are (rising) or current high school seniors pursuing the military can remain with permission of the Commanding Officer, but in no circumstances can an individual age 20 be a cadet. 

12. If I had an advanced paygrade recommendation in another program for advanced enlistment, will I lose that for coming to Marine Cadets of Iowa?

ANSWER:  No. Paygrade recommendations are good until age 24. Marine Cadets of Iowa, in its founding documents sent to the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Marine Corps Training and Education Command, has formally requested recognition of MCI cadets for advanced paygrade ascension into the Marine Corps upon meeting criteria. Once that is approved, we will approach the Army and the Air Force with similar proposals. 

13. (From a parent)  How can I help move this forward?

ANSWER:  There are a number of things parents can do.


A)  You can talk about our program with family, friends, and co-workers. You can post positively about this new program (without negatively discussing other programs, please) on social media. Second, starting up a new unit is a costly endeavor. The Commanding Officer has privately raised some money to date, but we need more and will have ongoing needs for uniform and equipment as growth occurs. More cadets means more exposure and more impact, and more impact is viewed positively by those who administer grants and provide funding. 

B)  Marine Cadets of Iowa is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations to our program are tax deductible. We are aligned with United Way as well; some employers or local programs provide matching funds for United Way donations. You can specify that a portion or all of your United Way money be routed to Marine Cadets of Iowa. 

C)  We are able to process sea bag donations from individuals getting out of the Armed Forces. If you know someone that is getting out of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps, they can donate their sea bag of uniforms to us. We can provide a donation receipt for the fair market value of what is donated. 

D)  Support your cadet through this period of change. There are new PT requirements and personal appearance requirements. We will provide additional support in terms of ASVAB preparation and ROTC and Academy Scholarship ascension that previously provided as well. 

E)  Advocate for our program with your Congressional and Senatorial Representatives. I have a draft of a letter I will share with you that you can customize and sent to those individuals. Email if you wish to get a draft of that letter. 

14.  Does MCI have insurance?  

ANSWER:  It will. MCI is currently negotiating with two insurance companies to provide general liability and business liability insurance for MCI. The yearly dues charged to cadets will serve to fund the insurance package necessary to function. Insurance will be in place prior to formal cadet training commencing. 

15.  Will MCI cadets have ID's?

ANSWER:  Yes. Cadet ID's have been designed. Given our current set up, those IDs will now be available at enrollment. Cadets will not have to wait for ID cards. 

16. Will MCI require cadets to get the COVID-19 shot?

ANSWER:  No. MCI will not require any proof of immunization documents from cadets and families. Immunization and immunization status is a matter between the family and their health care providers. 

17. I heard that promotion was not time-in-grade based. How does that work?

ANSWER:  Cadets will earn eligibility for promotion, in part, based on accumulated drill credits. Drill credits are awarded for drill and for special weekend training events at the rate of one drill credit for each half day of a drill or training event. This eliminates enrolling and not participating and still running a clock for promotion, which are adult leadership team agreed was not appropriate. This system rewards activity and participation. 

18.  I know that Marines typically don't travel to drill in a working uniform. Will I get to wear my MARPAT uniform around in public as a cadet?

ANSWER:  Likely not much. When we proposed to the Marine Corps for the privilege of wearing Marine Corps uniforms, we affirmed with them our desire to follow all of the applicable uniform rules for wear. MARPAT is reserved for the working environment. Cadets may be asked to wear a civilian travel uniform to/from drill. This would consist of a navy blue polo shirt w/logo (purchased and retained by cadet), white undershirt, (issued), khaki trousers (issued), belt/buckle (issued), and appropriate footwear prescribed by the Command. 

19. Will my cadet need to attend training this summer?

ANSWER:  It depends. Leadership cadets will have some training obligations coming soon. We will start there. Lower-ranking cadets will be encouraged to actively drill and work out regularly on their own. Depending on interest and facility availability, there could be boot camp this summer, but that is not at all a given. All cadets should be aware that actively training and attending summer training is linked to your promotion. At the end of the day, it's your cadet career and you will get the rank you earn. No one would really want to be a cadet Private or cadet PFC terribly long.  

20. Who are the adults involved with this program?

ANSWER:  More than 15 of the adults who used to affiliate with a Navy Sea Cadet unit in Iowa have left that program to form Marine Cadets of Iowa, Inc. 

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