Whenever I’m asked the question “why do Sea Scouts?” by any high-schooler or adult, I usually provide a variety of reasons. One reason that I always explain is that Sea Scouts is valuable because the career opportunities the program exposes you to. When I say career opportunities, I mean the numerous educational and professional paths that can lead to successful careers that reflect Sea Scouting’s skills and values. These options may include but are not limited to, maritime industry and transportation, the US Armed Services, oceanography, and various other STEM fields. As the next class of high school graduate move onto college and/or a career, it’s important to know where your Sea Scout Experience can take you. For new and experienced Sea Scouts alike, I have provided a list of some scholarships and professional opportunities that I believe are relevant to the Sea Scout journey.

Marine Technology/Industry Scholarships

Marine Technology Society Scholarships

Each year the Marine Technology Society offers significant scholarships to college graduate, college undergraduate and senior high school students accepted into full-time marine-related programs with a focus in marine technology, marine engineering and/or marine science. More here.

Scouting Scholarships

NESA Academic/Merit Scholarship

Fortunately, NESA assists Eagle Scouts with their educational pursuits whether it be at a four-year university, vocational trade school or field study opportunities. If you are an Eagle Scout and you are looking for funds for post-secondary education, consider the NESA Scholarship.


VFW Scout of the Year Scholarship

The partnership between VFW and Scouting is old and strong. They award a 5,000 dollar scholarship to the first place winner.


Excellence in Scouting Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to provide high achieving Scouts financial assistance towards post-secondary school education. This is a non-academic award and is based on leadership and achievements in the Scouting program.


US Armed Forces Scholarships and Career Paths

The United States Service Academies: Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy

The USNA and USCGA are prestigious 4-year institutions that provide students with a Bachelor of Science degree, no-cost tuition, and a direct route to commissioning as an Officer in the US Navy or Coast Guard. The Merchant Marine Academy, although similar, instead allows you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation or Marine Engineering. Upon graduation, USMMA graduates serve in the United States Merchant Marine as a deck or engineering officer.



These scholarships also allow students to commission as officers in the United States Armed Forces upon graduation from approved 4-year universities. The scholarship covers full tuition at these universities and allows students to pursue a particular major.


Enlistment Benefits

In the United States Coast Guard, Sea Scouts who have earned the Quartermaster Rank can earn advanced enlistment as an E-3, putting Sea Scouts ahead of their peers in the enlisted career path. More here.

This is just a small list of scholarships that I think all Sea Scouts should look into, regardless of current interest. In my perspective, one of the most important parts of the Sea Scout program is that it provides a doorway into many respected industries and professions.

Very Respectfully,

Ryan Trefny

Southern Region Boatswain 2018-2019
National Boatswain’s Mate 2019-2020