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About the Young Marines

The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines is the focal point for the U.S. Marine Corps' youth Drug Demand Reduction efforts.

Purpose of the Young Marine Program

  1. To promote the mental, moral, and physical development of its members.
  2. 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.
  3. To stimulate an interest in, and respect for, academic achievement and the history and traditions of the United States of America.
  4. To promote physical fitness through the conduct of physical activities, including participation in athletic events and close order drill.
  5. To advocate a drug-free lifestyle through a continual drug prevention education program.
From the magazine "Young Marines Network, Jan/Feb 1997

History of the Young Marine Program

After World War II, members of the Marine Corps League discussed the possibility of establishing a Marine Corps League youth program as a civic project for detachments and to create interest in the League. For historical purposes, the birth of the Young Marines was in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1958. The official charter was issued on 17 October 1965 and thereafter the program spread throughout the country. Although chartered as a League Sponsored Organization, the Young Marines began to function as a subsidiary organization independently in 1974. In 1975 membership was extended to included participation of females so that all youth could benefit. By 1978 the Young Marine bylaws were approved and adopted. In 1980 the Young Marine program was granted the status as a Youth Educational Organization with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classification of 501(C)3. In July 1993 the United States Marine Corps designated the Young Marine Program as "The focal organization for fulfilling its participation in the Department of Defense's Drug Demand Reduction Activities." Marine Corps Order 5000.20 officially recognized the Young Marines and published policy to support the program.

From the magazine "Young Marines Network, Jan/Feb 1997

The Young Marine Creed

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 having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.

Young Marine Obligation

From this day forward, I sincerely promise, I will set an example for all other youth to follow, and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my Country and its 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

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