Who We Are and what we do

The Young Marines strengthens the lives of America’s youth by teaching the importance of self-confidence, academic achievement, honoring our veterans, good citizenship, community service, and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building and leadership and promotes a lifestyle that is conducive to being productive members of society. 


The Young Marines program is not a program for youths with serious disciplinary problems, substance abuse issues or lengthy histories in juvenile court. 


The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America's future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.


The Young Marines is open to all youth, boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school.  The only membership requirement is that the youth must be in good standing at school.  Since the Young Marines’ beginnings, in 1959, with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown respectively with units throughout the country and overseas. 


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 effect on them. It is through these caring adults that Young Marines learn the inner values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment while instilling our core values of Leadership, Discipline and Teamwork. Adult volunteers are individually screened by the National Headquarters based on background information and recommendations provided with each person's registration. 


The Young Marines is the proud nine-time recipient of the Department of Defense’s Fulcrum Shield Award for Excellence in Youth Anti-Drug Programs.  The award recognizes military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made concerted efforts at spreading anti-drug messages throughout their communities.