By ROB LARSON
Daily Press Staff Writer
For LTJG Harry Bailey, NSCC, and Ensign Nathan Cobb, the Pecos Valley Ironclad Battalion doesn’t just offer a head start to kids and teens interested in joining the military; it provides something they crave.
“It’s a whole group of kids with the same goals in mind,” Cobb said. “And I think when they see like-minded kids with the same goals, it builds self-esteem among them. And I think that’s what they’re craving: the self-esteem.” … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.
The Ironclad Battalion is a part of the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps, a group that “has been committed to providing American youth with a drug- and alcohol-free environment to foster their leadership abilities, broaden their horizons through hands-on training, and guide them to becoming mature young adults,” according to their website.
Formed after the events of Sept. 11, the Ironclad Battalion currently meets at the Artesia Public Safety Complex. On a monthly basis, kids and teens run through military drills, learn Navy curriculum, and receive training in basic firefighting, first aid, physical fitness, personal hygiene and drug and alcohol prevention.
For Bailey, the program has been successful, with new kids and teens continuing to sign up on a regular basis, because it provides its sea cadets a type of structure that’s altogether relieving.