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Patriotic Article
Military
By USMC Pfc. Ryan Carpenter

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Young Marines Sets Youth Up For Success
(January 16, 2011)

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRIMAR, Calif. - Whether through peer pressure, difficulty communicating with parents or trouble in school, children face many challenges that can greatly affect their future. However, there are programs in place to guide today's youth in the right direction.
Sgt. Louis Abrams, an instructor with the Miramar Young Marines Program, tutors a Young Marine during a lesson plan over interior guard procedures at the Motorcycle Safety Course building at Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar, Calif., Jan. 9. After the lesson, Young Marines were given a class on the importance of education and a drug-free lifestyle.
Sgt. Louis Abrams, an instructor with the Miramar Young Marines Program, tutors a Young Marine during a lesson plan over interior guard procedures at the Motorcycle Safety Course building at Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar, Calif., Jan. 9. After the lesson, Young Marines were given a class on the importance of education and a drug-free lifestyle.
The Young Marines is the Marine Corps' flagship Youth Drug Demand Reduction Program, for children ages eight to the completion of high school, dedicated to the development of strong moral character and physical fitness in its members. Marines, parents and community members volunteer their time and knowledge to the well being of young adults.

“We're here on our off time making our community better,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Arrar, an instructor with the program. “A lot of these kids sometimes have behavioral problems and their parents bring them here as a last resort.”

Every Saturday the Young Marines practice close order drill; learn military rank structures, customs and courtesies and to address adults as sir or ma'am and other members by rank and last name. Young
Marines also participate in field meets with team building competitions such as tug-of-war and potato sack races.
“It's structured a lot like the Marine Corps but with a lot less rigor,” said Sgt. David Street, an instructor with the program. “It's an awesome opportunity to work with America's fine youth.”

The instructors also take a personal interest in the Young Marines outside of the program.

“If I'm having trouble or need help in school, I can bring my homework in and get help with it,” said Young Marine Lance Cpl. Frank McMullen, the guide for the Miramar Young Marines.

Young Marines can excel in the program by earning ribbons for accomplishments, ranging from volunteer service to marksmanship and land navigation. Members who do excel are considered for promotions and are given the opportunity to lead their peers.

“The program helps the kids with self-control and discipline,” said Linda McMullen, a Young Marine parent and the paymaster for the program. “It gives the kids a lot of positive reinforcement by earning ribbons, increasing rank, and learning leadership. It helps them grow up and be successful members of society.”
Article and photo by USMC Pfc. Ryan Carpenter
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
Copyright 2011

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