The Young Marines, a national youth organization, provides a program for boys and girls age eight through high school, focused on leadership, citizenship through community service, self-discipline, and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The organization upholds the Marine Corps’ core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment as well as the Young Marines’ core values of Discipline, Leadership and Teamwork. Individual units are led by dedicated adult volunteers. The Young Marines’ commitment and work to develop the next generation of leaders continues as it strives to meet its vision to be the best led and managed nonprofit in America and the nation’s premier youth development program.
Upon joining a local Young Marines unit, recruits undergo a 26-hour orientation program, sometimes spread out over several weekly meetings and sometimes over the course of a weekend. Youth members 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 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.
The Young Marines program encourages unit participation in local civic activities, such as providing color guards for athletic events, marching in local parades and activities promoting and reinforcing good citizenship.
Year round, Young Marines show deep devotion to military veterans from any era and from any branch of service. In addition, Young Marines participates in Veterans Appreciation Week, a campaign that challenges our youth members to dedicate time to show our country’s appreciation and help our nation’s veterans in their local communities.
During the summer months, Young Marines can attend the Young Marines National Summer Programs of: Adventures, Challenges, Encampments, and Schools (SPACES). Some of the exciting SPACES events include: Junior Leadership School, Senior Leadership School, Advanced Leadership School, the Great American History Adventure, Space Camp, National Flight Academy, Drill and Ceremonies School, Orienteering, Sailing, Cowboy Experience, National Outdoor Leadership School, SCUBA and Master SCUBA Diver Schools, and the National Encampment.