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 November 16, 2011 (El Cajon) – Kaitlin Ortmeier, 16, a Junior at Granite Hills High School, was promoted to NSCC Cadet Chief Petty Officer at a ceremony at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado on November 13. The rank of the Chief Petty Officer or CPO is the highest rank a cadet can earn, and the equivalent of Scouting’s “Eagle” rank.

Naval Sea Cadet Kaitlin Ortmeier, 16 has the anchors of a Chief Petty Officer pinned on her by her grandfather, Frank Ortmeier, who served in the Navy as a Gunner’s Mate from 1958 to 1963.  

Ortmeier joins a small cadre of NSCC Chief Petty Officer’s numbering only 90 cadets nationwide. Only four Naval Sea Cadets out of over three hundred in San Diego County are Chief Petty Officers. A CPO typically serves for one to two years before graduating from the program. Serving in Coronado Battalion based at Naval Amphibious Base, she will now lead her Battalion as the most senior cadet.

For young men and women ages 10-17, the Naval Sea Cadet Corps through organization and cooperation with the Department of the Navy, encourages and aids American youth to develop an interest and skill in basic seamanship and in its naval adaptations, to train them in seagoing skills, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred virtues" in a drug-, gang- and alcohol free lifestyle.

Chief Petty Officer Kaitlin Ortmeier has her CPO cover placed on her head by her father, Michael Ortmeier. The “hatting” ceremony is a long standing Navy tradition.

With units across San Diego and Imperial Counties including Coronado, El Centro, Escondido, Lakeside, Kearny Mesa, Miramar, National City, and Oceanside there are opportunities for everyone.  Those interested in finding out more information on the Naval Sea Cadet Corps can visit or contact the Regional Director, Lt. Cmdr. Scott D. Oram at by phone at (858) 997-8721

Photo Credits: Naval Sea Cadet Corps

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