The Young Marines “Closing the Gate on Drugs” initiative focuses our drug demand reduction efforts on raising awareness of common gateway drugs (tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, prescription drugs and marijuana) that are either in homes or neighborhoods and are most often encountered and easily accessed by children and young adults.
We have developed a standardized curriculum that is taught to Young Marines by senior Young Marines, and we have developed product and information packages available to all our Your Young Marines are encouraged to deploy this initiative into their communities to reach out to their peers.
“The DEA first met with the Young Marines a few years ago,” Tammy Simpson, drug prevention program manager of the DEA’s Drug Demand Reduction Section said, “We were so impressed with the Young Marines’ initiative when communicating with peers and others about the dangers associated with using drugs. We appreciate the Young Marines efforts to educate the community and increase awareness about the drug problem.”
The Department of Defense has awarded the Young Marines program the Fulcrum Shield Award seven times for excellence in Youth Anti-Drug Programs. The award recognizes military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made concerted efforts at spreading the anti-drug message throughout their communities
Upon joining the Meckelnburg County Young Marines, recruits will undergo a 26-hour orientation program, generally spread out over several monthly meetings. They will learn general subjects such as history, customs and courtesies, close order drill, physical fitness, and military rank structure.
After graduating from Young Marines Recruit Training, Young Marines have the opportunity to learn even more new skills, earn rank, wear the Young Marines uniform and work toward ribbon awards. Young Marines earn ribbons for achievement in areas such as leadership, community service, swimming, academic excellence, first aid and drug resistance education.