Young Marines

Young Marines

The Young Marines is a youth program in the United States, open to children from the ages of eight years old through high school.

Role and purpose

  • to promote the mental, moral, and physical development of its members
  • to instill in its members the ideals of honesty, fairness, courage, respect, loyalty, dependability, attention to duty, love of God, and fidelity to our country and its institutions
  • to stimulate an interest in, and respect for academic achievement and the history and traditions of the United States and the U.S. Marine Corps
  • to promote the physical fitness through the conduct of physical activities, including athletic events and close order drill
  • to advocate a drug free lifestyle by continual drug prevention education programs
  • Can receive a higher initial pay grade upon enlistment in the USMC

The creed that every Young Marine lives by is:

  • Obey my parents and all others in charge of me whether young or old.
  • Keep myself neat at all times without other people telling me to.
  • Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.
  • Keep my mind alert to learn in school, at home, or at play.
  • Remember that having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.

The Obligation in which they stand by is: "From this day forward, I sincerely promise to set an example for all youth to follow. I shall never do anything to bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my country, it's flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines. These I will honor and respect in a manner that will reflect credit upon them and myself. Semper Fidelis."

US Congress found in the Recruiting, Retention, and Reservist Promotion Act of 2000 that Young Marines and similar programs "provide significant benefits for the Armed Forces, including significant public relations benefits.


The Young Marines was founded in 1958, by the Brass city detachment of the Marine Corps League in Waterbury, CT. The Young Marines received its charter on October 17, 1965, and soon after separated from the MCL and became the US Marine Corps drug demand reduction program for youth in July 1993. In 1975 the Young Marines extended its membership to females, and in 1995 the program went international with units in Okinawa, Japan.

The Young Marines are similar to JROTC units, but they exist on a national level. It is open to children from the ages of eight years old through high school. Most units require a small yearly fee for registration and uniforms, ranging from fifteen to fifty dollars a year. Generally, units meet on local military bases where a building serves as their headquarters and classroom.

The organization has over 300 units with over 13,000 Young Marines and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and affiliates in a host of foreign countries including Germany and Japan.

Like The Marine Corps, The Young Marines have 6 Divisions, each with multiple regiments. The command is from Division, to regiment, to battallion, to Unit, and then a platoon.


Members march in parades, learn survival techniques, undergo Leadership training, such as Junior Leadership, Senior Leadership, and Advanced leadership. Different Schools can be viewed on the Young Marine website. All Battallions train differently, so schools vary.


The standard Young Marine uniform is the basic large dab woodland-style BDUs. Unlike MCJROTC, the Young Marines are not authorized to wear the MARPAT camouflage fatigues that the United States Marine Corps now uses. As for dress uniform, the current dress uniforms allowed are Service Alphas, Bravos (with no Eagle, Globe and Anchor on tie bar), and Charlies under MCO 5000.20. The Marine Corps Eagle, Globe and Anchor is replaced with the a gold Young Marine emblem on all uniform requirements where an EGA is used. On Service uniforms, no Barracks cover is currently allowed, only the garrison cover. Also, unlike MCJROTC, the Marine Corps Dress Blues are not authorized.


As Units train differently, Some battalions train a week of boot camp, while others choose the "reservist" boot camp. The reservist boot camp is when the recruits attend 2 weekends a month, for a total of 3-6 months. The culmination of recruit training is the overnight recruit final training excersise where all the training is tested. The final part of this boot camp is when a Young Marine is ranked a Young Marine Private. Base on the recruit class, a number of recruits may be promoted to Private first class. The Young Marine program also authorizes the promotion of recruits with JROTC experience. Based on experience the recruit may attain up to the rank of Young Marine Sgt, or e-5. In each recruit class there is also an honor recruit, a single awardee, the Young Marine also receives the Honor Recruit ribbon for this achievement. From there they can promote up the enlisted ranks of the United States Marine Corps. The highest rank that can be attained is Young Marine Sergeant Major. All Young Marine ranks must be stated Young Marine first, unlike in other cadet programs where "cadet" is stated.


To show completion of certain requirements Young Marines are awarded ribbons. There are currently 67 ribbons that can be earned. Every year a Young Marine is chosen for Young Marine of the year. There are different types of Young Marines of the year. There is a unit Young Marine of the year, battalion YMOY, regiment YMOY, Division YMOY, and a national YMOY.


See also

External links

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