This is the home of the National Headquarter's Chart Your Course space. You will find program resources that support the Chart Your Course branding and media campaign. These resources will assist personnel to effectively communicate about the Naval Sea Cadet Corps program at the National, Regional, and Local levels.
As of 1 March 2014, National Headquarters (NHQ) began the process of rolling out our rebranding efforts. This document addresses the upcoming changes. Please share with your units.
Q1: What is going to change?
A: As of right now, the changes are going to include: a new logo (above), a new slogan (under Q3); an update to our website (www.seacadets.org); an updated trifold brochure and other communications materials. We are also providing you with brand guidelines to help you navigate through the changes.
The way NHQ communicates with the field is also going to evolve. We want to hear more from our volunteers, cadets and parents. We also want to tap into our alumni base and hope they will share with us what they loved about our program and where they are now.
Q2: Why the changes?
A: Our leaders in the field know better than anyone that USNSCC is a professional organization with an outstanding training program that rivals any similar youth program in the United States. One of the phrases we hear most often when talking with members in the field is that the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps is “our nation’s best kept secret”. We can make adjustments to take our organization to the next level of effectiveness in order to give our cadets more opportunities, to reach more young people and to receive the kind of support that our organization needs to thrive.
When USNSCC units and NHQ use a singular brand (which includes our logo, slogan, colors, fonts and imagery), we send the message that we are cohesive and united in our mission and our efforts.
In order to project a professional image that encourages new members, volunteers and donors to join our family, our brand needs to evolve. With the help of a graphic designer, we created a new logo and slogan designed to present a clean, professional image of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. These branding elements are incorporated through our communications materials, and on our updated national website.
Q3: Why “Chart Your Course”? What does it mean?
A: To chart a course is to choose a direction. The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps not only provides exceptional training to our cadets, but also exceptional opportunities. The merit of our program is seen in the success stories of our cadets. When we ask our cadets to chart their course, we are asking them to not only make the most out of their time in this program, but to use the resources they are given to develop a vision for their future. Our new slogan “Chart Your Course” is a reminder to our cadets to seize the limitless possibilities available to them and a reminder to our volunteers and organization to help them realize their full potential.
Q4: Do I need to change my unit’s website or other materials to match the new brand?
A: We know that a lot of time and effort has been put into the existing unit websites. At NHQ, we have taken time to look at the different unit websites and we are very impressed with what is out there. We encourage you to make changes to your site to keep the look cohesive with the new national website, but we know that this effort will take time. Start slowly… incorporate some of the new elements of our brand into your website. For example, remove the “Test Your Limits” branding, and replace it with the new slogan (“Chart Your Course”).
As time goes on, and as you and your staff decide, you can bring other elements into your site like our brand colors, typefaces and imagery. These elements are available for download on the Homeport site.
Q5: What is the benefit of making these changes?
A: The benefit of the rebranding is a unified look that creates a professional image to prospective members and stakeholders. This will help us to grow as an organization to attract new cadets, volunteers and sponsors.
We understand that people in the field are doing incredible things on a volunteer basis, so while we encourage you to rebrand along with us on a national level, we understand that you may need extra time to adapt existing websites and content to the new branding. If you are having difficulty with the changes, let us know why and what we can do to help. It will help us to understand how we can make this easier for you.
NHQ requests that as soon as possible, but no later than 30 June 2014, discontinue the use and distribution of the “Test Your Limits” logos, brochures and postcards. We ask that you instead distribute the “Chart Your Course” version of the brochure instead of the “Test Your Limits” brochures.
Q6: What is different about www.seacadets.org? Why the new website?
A: The updated, rebranded version of www.seacadets.org will be maintained in-house at NHQ and includes a few important updates that will help our program grow. The site is intended to clearly communicate the nature of our program with potential cadets, potential volunteers and potential donors. As one example of the many improvements the new site features, we will -- for the first time -- have the capability of accepting donations online.
The new website is also designed with the intention of increasing the communication flow between the field and NHQ. We really want to hear from units so that we can highlight your stories on a national level. To enable this open communication, there is a form for contacting us with questions and a form for alumni to submit their testimonials. Submissions via these forms will go directly to NHQ and will be replied to in a timely manner. (Note: This is not intended to replace use of the chain of command for official matters of procedure and policy within the USNSCC, but rather provide a faster means for submission of content related to our public affairs posture.)
We are also working on a newsletter that we hope units will help us build. We want cadets and units to submit their stories and photos about their training activities and about our cadets’ goals after life in the USNSCC. A newsletter comprised of unit submissions is a great opportunity to share ideas in the field and to bring our program to life.
The previous version of www.seacadets.org was developed and maintained by the volunteer members of the USNSCC’s Internet Development Group (IDG). They did a fantastic job and the site served USNSCC well over the years as our public face on the Internet. At NHQ, we are incredibly grateful for their outstanding efforts and talents, as well as for the selfless sacrifice of their time to help the USNSCC grow. The IDG will still be in charge of maintaining our Homeport site and we know they will continue to do a great job.
Q7: Where do I start?
A: Visit the Chart Your Course Branding Center on Homeport. You will be able to download more detailed branding information, as well as the new logo, slogan and imagery.
Q8: I have a question or feedback about the rebranding effort. Who can I talk to?
A: You can email Kate McIlvaine, Director of Strategic Outreach, at email@example.com with any questions or feedback.