Who We Are
The James M. Hannan Division of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corp is over 50 years old and is the oldest continuously serving sea cadet unit in the state of Michigan. We are part of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) www.seacadets.org/ and is for American youth ages 11-17 who have a desire to learn about the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Sea Cadets are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy uniforms appropriately marked with the Sea Cadet Corps insignia. The objectives of the Sea Cadet program are to introduce youth to naval life, to develop in them a sense of pride, patriotism, courage, and self-reliance, and to maintain an environment free of drugs and gangs. Cadets ages 11-13 are considered "Leaguers or League Cadets" and participate in Navy League Orientation trainings. Cadets ages 13-17 are considered Sea Cadets and participate in Recruit Training ("boot camp") and other "Advanced Training Opportunities".
The James M. Hannan Division has a unique history. It was formed on 13 January 1965 and commissioned on 27 October 1965 as the USS RICHMOND K. TURNER DIVISION. The Metropolitan Detroit Council of the Navy League of the United States was its' sponsor.
At that time James M. Hannan was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and in that position, signed the original "First Endorsement" for the formation of the unit.
The original Commanding Officer was Philip D. Buck, who commanded some 56 cadets plus an officer staff of 10 and 6 Marine Instructors.
The Commissioning Ceremony was held on 27 October 1965 at the Brodhead Naval Armory in Detroit.
In attendance were the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a Navy Rear Admiral, Mr. Hannan and several other guests. The program for that event describes the cadet expectations and rewards and they are almost exactly the same as they are today.
It is interesting to note that when the Unit was formed in 1965, Mr. Hannan and a group of men decided it was to be the testing ground for the Corps. The goal was to prove to the U.S. Congress, the Navy and the National Sea Cadet Board that this Corps had more to offer a young man of 14 years than the Boy Scout Program, Jr. ROTC or even NROTC. It presented a head start program for Leadership, Character-Building, Self-discipline and basic military training needed should he choose to go into the military.
And they succeeded! On 7 March 1967, the Secretary of the Navy directed "All ships and Stations to support the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. (NSCC SECNAVINST 5760.13(pers.D22.)
Mr. Buck, who worked for General Motors, remained the CO until May 1970. From then until 1994, seven other men served as Commanding Officer.
On 22 May 1977, James M. Hannan, who resided in West Bloomfield, Michigan passed away. A native of Lincoln, Neb., Hannan was commissioned as Ensign in the USNR upon his graduation from Yale University in 1933. He served on active duty from April 1941 through January 1946 and remained a member of the Naval Reserve until his retirement as a Commander in 1961. In addition to his Navy League activities, Hannan was active in numerous other organizations, including the Naval Reserve Association, the American Legion and the Retired Officer Association of which he was first vice president. He was the recipient of the Secretary of the Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award in 1971. Before becoming National President of the Navy League in May 1969, Hannan served on several national committees. He was president and later Chairman of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Senior Vice-President of the Navy League (1968-1969), Chairman of the National Advisory council (1971-73) and a member of that council until his death.
On 7 November 1977, the Metropolitan Council requested of Headquarters, that the name of the Division be changed to the James M. Hannan Division. The Detroit Women's Council, who at the time co-sponsored the Division, agreed with the request. The request included the following statement: "As you well know James Hannan was very instrumental in the founding of the Naval Sea Cadet Program on a national basis, but he was also the "Father" of the program, both in Detroit and Michigan. We feel, therefore, that out division should carry his name as a fitting and lasting tribute to him".
On 16 November 1977 that request was approved.
On 28 February 1978, National Headquarters acknowledged that the Detroit Women's Council should be formally recognized and designated as the sponsor of the James M. Hannan Division. They also commended the Women's Council for their outstanding contributions in making it possible for the Division to remain a viable unit over the years. They stated that "without their help the unit could easily have foundered."
On 9 November 1994, Lt. Philip Winteringham was appointed Commanding Officer. Under his leadership over the past 20 years, the Hannan Division has enjoyed many high points. Now LCDR, Winteringham was one of those responsible for bringing the NSC Ship Grayfox to Michigan. He was the original Engineering and Executuve Officer of the Grayfox and has spent many hours in the Engine Room seeing to its proper operation.
On 24 February 1999 the Unit was awarded the "25" Commissioned Streamer" to be placed on the Unit Flag. This acknowledges the fact the Hannan Division has been commissioned for 25 years of continuous operation, one of the very few units to be so recognized. By this action, all cadets and officer staff are permitted to wear the appropriate ribbon upon being accepted as a member of the Unit.
In late 2004, the Brodhead Naval Armory was closed. This made it necessary for the unit to find a new home after some 39 years. Following an extensive search, the Redford Presbyterian Church, in Detroit, offered its facilities as our new meeting location. The Church was home to the Division for some five years until the Church closed its doors. Hannan Division then moved to the Royal Oak Recreation Center, located in Ferndale, Michigan. In July 2012 it moved to it's new home at Cambridge High School in Garden City.
In December 2005, LCDR P. Winteringham, the longest serving Commanding Officer in the history of the Hannan Division, received the NSCC Distinguished Service Ribbon for saving the life of fellow LCDR W. Barnhart in April 2005. The award reads as follows, "For exemplary and distunguised service on 10 April 2005, LCDR Winteringham quick action did result in the needed emergency medical attention to LCDR Barnhart. His performance, initiative, and motivation are in all respects outstanding. His actions bring distinct credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy, and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, the James M. Hannan Division."
In September 2006, the Hannan Division joined forces with the Leaguer Unit, Training Ship Bristol Bay, under the command of LCDR Leonard DeNard, a 30 plus years Sea Cadet Officer.
Under the leadership of LCDR Winteringham, the Hannan Division has provided hundred of cadets direction and guidance to become better citizens. Many joined the military with several graduating from either the Naval or Coast Guard academies. This summer two will report to the Navy, one to the Marines and one to the Army.