The Young Marines (YM) program is the drug demand reduction effort of the Marine Corps League and the United States Marine Corps.
What is the Young Marine's Program About?
The Young Marines Program provides an alternative learning experience for youth. The program seeks to install a sense of pride in the youth — pride in themselves, in their community and in their country. Both youth and adult staff help to police their own ranks because it provides the opportunity for our youth to develop self-discipline and motivation by exposing them to positive adult role models, instruction and guidance. The advocacy of a drug-free lifestyle is particularly important given the pervasiveness of the drug threat to our children today and the resultant violence and moral corruption that drugs lead to by their nature. In view of the damage that illicit drugs do to children and to the American society as a whole, the need to mobilize all available resources with which to fight the battle against their use is obvious.
What are the ages?
The Young Marines accept those young men and women between the ages 8 through 12th grade, who are enrolled in school.
What uniforms are supplied by the unit?
The unit supplies: cover (hat); trousers (pants); blouse (jacket); boots, trouser blousers, belt/buckle, red national t-shirt, patches, unit T shirts and guidebook.
What do the Parents provide?
The parents must provide additional help to the recruits as they learn their Young Marines "knowledge."
How long is recruit training?
Recruit training is scheduled for a minimum of 26 hours. Typically this is broken down into every other weekend, Saturday & Sunday. The length and schedule of recruit training is left up to the discretion of the Commanding Officer depending on the qualifications and progress of the recruits.
What does recruit training involve?
Recruit training includes academic training in the history of the United States, the U.S. Marine Corps and the Young Marines. It also includes close order drill, team building, military courtesy, and physical fitness. This rigorous training program instills a sense of pride and personal accomplishment and forms the basis of a newfound confidence and self-esteem.
What is the nature of the Young Marines Program?
The Young Marines program is run in a military fashion. We use a similar staff structure, courtesies, customs, and discipline as the United States Marine Corps. The Young Marines wear the same enlisted rank insignia as members of the United States Marines Corps, with the addition of Young Marine patches.
Young Marines work toward ribbons for personal qualification, service and achievement. These ribbons are similar to badges earned in other youth programs. They also work towards promotions in rank. Rank promotions require positive reports from the Young Marine’s teachers and parents; mastering knowledge and skills outlined in the Young Marines guide books, and meeting physical fitness requirements.
What happens after graduation?
The Young Marines attend monthly training sessions, special events and activities. Life skills such as first aid/CPR, camping, swimming, etiquette, communication skills, and navigation are a regular part of the program. Other activities include hiking, competing in orienteering events, obstacle courses, rappelling, and participating in parades and civic ceremonies. State and national encampments provide opportunities for special training in leadership.
What the Young Marines Program IS NOT:
The Young Marines program is NOT a summer camp, day care program or military school. If you are looking for a babysitter, don't look here. However, we will re-enforce standards of good behavior and academic achievement expected by any parent, as well as by society, for their child.
Does the U.S. Marine Corps run this program?
No. The YM program is sponsored by the Marine Corps League. The staff are all volunteers--active duty or retired military personnel, as well as civilians. The United States Marine Corps, while not overseeing the program, does provide logistic and some financial support.
Is the Young Marines program intended to recruit young people for the Marine Corps?
What kind of children is the program intended for?
The Young Marines program is targeted to at all young people, boys and girls, from the ages 8 through 12th grade and enrolled in school (home schooling is included). Having as diverse a cross section of young people as possible helps enhance team building and “people skills” training which is an important part of the program.
Some have the impression that with the boot camp and military discipline, the Young Marines program is targeted for young people with serious behavior or discipline problems. This is not the case. The Young Marines expects all of its members to strive to exemplify the Young Marines Core Values of Discipline, Leadership, Teamwork.
The best description of the young people the program is intended for is those young people who will be enthusiastic about being a Young Marine and can value what the Young Marines program stands for.
Who are the adult staff members?
Our entire staff is composed of volunteers from different professions. The staff is challenged to maintain an interesting, challenging, educational and productive training schedule that will retain the interest of the Young Marines while achieving the objectives of the program.
How big is the Young Marines Program?
There are currently over 300 Young Marine units across the United State and internationally, with membership currently at about 14,000 Young Marines.