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Lt. Col. Mike Kessler
Young National Headquarters
P.O. Box 70735 Southwest Station
Washington, D.C. 20024-0735

April 24, 2006


Many of us youth enter and flourish in the Young Marine program, but how often do we think and ask ourselves: What does it means to be a Young Marine? There are different opinions floating around, but one that everybody shares is that being a Young Marine is saying no to drugs and alcohol and saying no to taking part in criminal activity of any kind. Young Marines make the following commitment when they enlist in the Young Marines and they live by it from that moment on.

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

Using drugs violates all parts of this obligation. Using drugs is not the example for todayís youth to follow because drug use has led to crime and deaths. Young Marines are not drug users and to do this we would be showing other kids that using drugs is the "cool" thing to do. Itís not.

Using drugs dishonors our God because it goes against his laws. It disgraces our country and its flag because it portrays the United States as a land of drug users and brings the image of the United States down. It brings disgrace upon our parents and ourselves because our parents have taught us the dangers of drugs and told us not to use them. Drug use disgraces us because we know that it is morally wrong. And last, it brings disgrace upon the Young Marines because Young Marines do not use drugs and it goes against everything we have been taught.

The last part, Semper Fidelis, means always faithful. This means looking out for our families, our fellow Young Marines, ourselves, and those around us. In the Young Marine Obligation, Semper Fidelis is a way of saying that we will be faithful to the obligation and live by it every single day. Using drugs violates the way of living that Semper Fidelis describes. Besides being drug free, being a Young Marine means taking pride in ourselves. As a Young Marine we set the example for all other youth follow. We take pride in the way we look and how we conduct our daily lives. Being a Young Marine also means striving for perfection in anything that we do. An example is that every Young Marine strives for perfection in school. We may not get straight Aís on our report cards, but as Young Marines, we put forth 110% to do our best in school anyway.

I have been a Young Marine for over four years now. If I hadnít joined the Young Marines, I donít know what I would be doing now, how I would look, or how other people would view me. I probably would not be doing well in school because I would have no inspiration for or from anything. I would probably be following the style today of low riding pants that display my under garments, long hair that would make me look like a hippie, and I would probably be overweight. I would be ill mannered with no discipline what so ever, and I would be selfish only thinking of the best for me and no one else. People would view me as the average to below average person because I would be lazy, and not willing to do anything. I would always be looking for the easy way out, even though taking the more challenging path would be more beneficial. I would slouch and walk like I am back on the block. I would be a nasty as what the Marine Corps calls most civilians.

I am thankful for the Young Marine program because it has benefited me in so many ways. Without it, youth in the United States would be headed down the drain. I am also thankful that there are the national staff in Washington D.C. that keep the Young Marine program going and dedicated adults in each Young Marine unit that ensure that that unit exists and that its Young Marines receive the best guidance possible.

YM SSgt Brim,
Columbia River Young Marines
Kennewick, Washington
Division 6

Dear Sir,

Being a Young Marine gives me the strength to stay off drugs. Drugs can take away your pride. I have lost one of the most important relatives in my life to drugs; my dad. I trusted him.

I know to stay off drugs and the Young Marines help teach me how. I know to stay off drugs because your life depends on it. If you want to be proud and to hold the title of Young Marine, stay off drugs, help others and have discipline.

Semper Fidelis,
YM Pvt Roach

Young Marines and especially the emphasis on drug demand reduction has helped me to stop, look and think about what is happening around me. The Young Marines is a reason for me not to do drugs or get involved with anybody who does. I have seen what happens to people when drugs are a part of their life and itís the total opposite of the Young Marine way of life and what we stand for.

Sometimes I tell my friends what my CO would do to me if I ever did drugs. Even though I know it would never happen, itís a good motivator and they never argue with me. Through the Young Marines and drug demand reduction I know how to say no and what can happen if you donít.

Semper Fidelis,
Young Marine Corporal Jared Reyna

April 25, 2006

We would like to tell you from a parent's perspective, what the Young Marine Organization has taught our son. We believe it has taught him valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership, and the importance of living a drug-free life.

Our son, David, knows that by working together, much can be accomplished. He has learned how to rely on others, as well as to be relied upon.

Secondly, we have noticed how David has become more self-confident, and thus taken on a leadership role among his peers at school and in our neighborhood. His friends look up to him to set the example. Thankfully, the Young Marine Organization has instilled great character traits in him.

Lastly, we know that the importance that is stressed in Young Marines on leading a drug-free life has impacted David. He knows itís COOL to NOT do drugs.

We are very thankful for such a wonderful organization such as the Young Marines. It is a life-changing organization for our youth.


Brad and Jeannie Friehauf

Recruit Blunt
April 20, 2006
Columbia River Young Marines

Being a Young Marine has meant a lot to me. Being a Young Marine shows that I am proud of myself, and that I have enough confidence in myself to be able to pass boot-camp. Joining Young Marines has also let me find out some pretty cool things about myself, that I'm really not that shy, that I've just been afraid that I would get an answer to a question wrong and embarrass myself.

Some things that Young Marines has taught me about Drug Demand Reduction is that even though you may be under a lot of peer pressure you still donít do something you know is wrong. When you are under peer pressure, you start to think that you are going to be one of the biggest dorks ever, because you arenít doing what everyone else is doing, but the ones that are doing whatís wrong will be the ones that look like the dorks.

Iíve learned that doing the right thing is hard to do, and doing the wrong thing is much easier. But doing the right thing is going to get you much farther in life than doing the wrong thing. I learned to say no when Mr. Carl was still in our unit, because he used to play a game with us that would teach us to say no to drugs. We would also play a game that we had to yell "NO!" as loud as we could, like we were saying no to drugs.

The biggest rule here is no drugs. Because of that rule I feel safe and that I donít have to worry too much about it. This is what I have learned in Young Marines.

Young Marines is a great organization that teaches a strong anti-drug message. There are many ways that Young Marines keeps kids drug-free. First, Young Marines has a strong emphasis on Drug Reduction. It encourages all Young Marines to take the D.A.R.E. course and also gives a lot of classes on drugs and how the affect you. Another way Young Marines helps kids stay out of drugs is by keeping them busy and giving them something fun and productive to do. Young Marines also supports our religious beliefs which also encourage a drug-free life. Young Marines does a lot of community service which helps the community and teaches the kids to think of others instead of themselves. Young Marines is also a great environment where kids can meet good friends who give a positive peer pressure to each other to stay drug-free. The opportunities that Young Marines has for kids seem endless. I am so thankful for all that the Young Marines organization has done for me.

Sgt Dillsworth

Updated: October 2008