What We Do

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.

Local Unit Activities

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.

Citizenship

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.

Honoring Veterans

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.

Summer Adventures and Challenges

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.

Guiding Principles  
  • The health, welfare, and safety of the Young Marines are paramount.
  • We value our volunteers and will provide them with the tools they need to succeed.
  • We will never forget that this program is for our youth. We will uphold the Marine Corps’core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment as well as the Young Marines’ core values of Discipline, Leadership, and Teamwork.
  • We pledge to the parents to serve as positive role models to their children.
  • We get by giving.

Navajo Code Talkers Day

Navajo Code Talkers Day

Every year since 2006, Young Marines from across the country gather in Window Rock, AZ, to honor and praise the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII. The Young Marines act as escorts for these very special veterans. At the event, the Young Marines plan and take part in a 5K fundraising run. The monies are designated to help pay for Code Talker funerals.

Local Unit Citizenship

Young Marines units all over the country participate in color guards and flag retirement ceremonies in their respective communities. At Christmastime, Young Marines take part in wreath-laying ceremonies at cemeteries across the country, at sea and abroad as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. When a youth member places a wreath on a veteran’s grave, he or she is encouraged to speak that veteran’s name aloud and thank the veteran for service and sacrifice.  This time of year, units also participate in Toys for Tots.
Toys For Tots

Strengthening the lives of America's youth
A national youth program for boys and girls, ages eight through high school, focused on leadership, citizenship through community service, self-discipline, and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Headquarters Young Marines
17739 Main Street, Suite 250
Dumfries, VA 22026

800-717-0060 Phone
202-315-3594 Fax

©Young Marines 2019