It’s no secret, to be a Marine you must have the will to do so. But what about at the cadet level? The Young Marines are special too. Some people would have you think that the young Marines organization is out to completely militarize America’s youth. I find that hard to believe. Let’s take a look at the Young Marine Obligation and Creed taken directly from the Young Marine website:
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 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.
Young Marine Creed
1. Obey my parents and all others in charge of me whether young or old.
2. Keep myself neat at all times without other people telling me to.
3. Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.
4. Keep my mind alert to learn in school, at home, or at play.
5. Remember having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.
What kind of negative connotation could you possibly derive from the Obligation and Creed above? the young Marine organization creates disciplined young men and women and helps them become better American citizens. But, since the program is modeled after the United States Marine Corps with cadets wearing the Marine Corps uniform and being taught by Marines, I guess that somehow creates something negative. I definitely don’t think so. Just like JROTC, Sea Cadets, Civil Air Patrol and US Army Cadets programs, Young Marines cadets get to join a positive gang.
Let’s face it, a gang of any type provides a sense of belonging, hierarchy and camaraderie, etc. And that is what all of these youth cadet programs provide, but there is so much more! These “positive gangs,” teach discipline, responsibility and respect, etc. And its all run by volunteers! Again, from their website:
Young Marines Volunteers
Young Marines units are community-based programs lead by dedicated adult volunteers. Many of these volunteers are former, retired, active duty, or reserve Marines who believe passionately that the values they learned as Marines had a positive affect on them. It is through these caring adults that Young Marines learn the inner values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Adult volunteers are individually screened by the National Headquarters based on background information and recommendations provided with each person’s registration.
If you want a great program that builds character while encouraging clean living from a Marine perspective, look no further than the Young Marines!