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  • Writer's pictureSea Cadets 911 PR - INST Lena Burkut

Conner Harris

My name is Petty Officer Conner Harris from Gurnee, Illinois, and I attend Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein. Throughout High School and outside of the Sea Cadet Corps, I have participated in Football, Wrestling, and my local police explorers program. I was first introduced to the Sea Cadets in the 7th grade and have been involved since then.

Most Memorable Training

One of the most memorable trainings that I participated in was Seamanship Training on the training vessel MANATRA. The vessel is used to train Sea Cadets and Navy ROTC Cadets in basic seamanship skills and strategies. During the training, we traveled across Lake Michigan to Grand Haven as well as Muskegon. We were afforded opportunities to visit Naval Museums and underway events such as man overboard drills and search and rescues.

This was my first training outside of boot camp because it was great exposure to what life is like underway on a ship and allowed me the opportunity to use all of the skills I learned in boot camp and apply them in an operational setting.

Where to next?

After Graduation, I plan on attending a 4-year university and studying criminology or criminal justice. I plan to pursue a career in the Military Reserves and pursue a civilian career in Federal Law Enforcement.

Things You Might Not Know About Me

  1. Outside of the Sea Cadet Corps, I work as a Lifeguard for a local swim school and park district. In addition, I work at a country club in the summer.

  2. Before and during my first couple of years within the Sea Cadet Corps, I was a club swimmer.

  3. I started in the Sea Cadets as a league cadet.

  4. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is going out with friends and go go-karting.

  5. I have a large collection of collectible Military and Law Enforcement patches from around the country and world.

Kevin Harris, Conner's father:

The best age to become involved in the program would most definitely be during the League Cadet timeframe. Prepares Cadets for the Sea Cadet program at a decent pace and prepares them for the journey and challenges ahead.

Conner was involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from a young age and later found Sea Cadets on his own. I believe it was his military interest/bearing that sent him on this journey which even he would say provided him with many opportunities.

I believe the most important skill Conner has gained from Sea Cadets is his leadership abilities. Conner progressed through the program earning rank; it provided him with opportunities one might not gain without this experience.

I don't believe I can narrow down just one training that was the most valuable for Conner. Conner attended multiple trainings over the years that have helped him become who he is today. It obviously started with RT (Recruit Training), the next training that really impacted him was Training Vessel MANATRA (10-day hands-on naval training), and the last one would have been his Seabees Training (USNSCC Construction Battalion Field) and Field Operations. These are where Conner really learned his military bearing, teamwork, leadership abilities, and overall motivation to succeed in the program.

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