LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Chennault's Naval Sea Cadets took over the USS Orleck Saturday night. While it may have appeared to be another round of laser tag, the cadets will tell you a lot more was at stake as they tried to rescue their captain being held hostage by the enemy.
The Naval Sea Cadet program is for students ages 11-18 years old and teaches responsibility through military training. Organizers said it's an exercise that aims to test the organization's core goals.
"It demonstrates teamwork - that they need to get together as a team and plan something out, which I think some of them seen today that they didn't have a real good planning because some of them didn't live very long," said Shannon Cox, Naval Sea Cadet training officer.
Roaming the ship with laser guns in hand, they watched each other's back. Every step was well thought out as the old naval destroyer has an endless amount of hiding places.
"Having to find these enemies in the shadows and dark hallways would probably be the toughest and most challenging part of the training," said Gage Smith, 11-grade Naval Sea Cadet.
Through the course of the game they learn to depend on each other as they try to survive and complete their mission. Many of the students involved in the Naval Sea Cadet program plan to go into the armed forces after high school. By putting in their time with the program they have the chance to enter with a higher rank.
"It's a great program that teaches us skills we will need for our future," said Joseph Toups, 11 grade Naval Sea Cadet. "For today's exercise you mainly have to have good leadership which this program helps because in order to be able to follow a person and do their coordination you have to understand them and know what they are doing."
"You have to learn you have to work with each other to get something done right," said Harley Lovett, 9th grade Naval Sea Cadet.
The lessons they learn on the Orleck will help them as they prepare to be the soldiers of tomorrow. Kassidy McLedon has been with the program for seven months and said it's a great opportunity to get a headstart on her future career.
"I want to save people's lives and I want to serve my country and give back to my country. I want to do search and rescue in the Navy," said Kassidy McLedon, 11 grade Naval Sea Cadet. "I'm learning things right now that will help me."
To learn more about the Naval Sea Cadet program click here.