The Young Marines of the Marine Corps League

Many Leaguers may not realize that the Young Marines of the Marine Corps League has had some changes (for the good of the program and League).  Besides the following please note that all the units in the California Regiment and the Sixth Division (eight western states) and units across the nation have been heavily entrenched in the war on drugs.  It’s the number one mission to encourage our youth to “live a healthy drug free lifestyle.”  Your assistance is appreciated more than you could know.  But all of you who are involved in this with the Young Marines we do thank you for all that you do with them.

Here’s a breakdown of how the Young Marines of the Marine Corps League works:

Jack Closson, 1st Sgt, USMC (ret) is the California Regimental Commander, with SSgt Jeremy Jones (Active Duty) as the Regimental XO.

Mike Wilson, Lt. Col. USMC (ret),, is the 6th Division Commander which covers the eight western states.

In each battalion there are at least three Young Marine units which has a Unit Commander and Executive Officer. There are five battalions in the California Regiment, with a Battalion Commander and Executive Officer. I am the Ray Jacobs (1st) Battalion Commander,, and Mr. Joseph Nelson is the Battalion Executive Officer,

Each unit, battalion and regiment has by-laws but also must follow a Registered Adult Manual (RAM) and a Training Officers Manual (TOM). These manuals are required of all adults who are registered with our National Headquarters in Washington, D. C.

The National Executive Director is Lt. Col. Michael B. Kessler, Lt. Col. USMC (ret) and the Deputy Director is Joe Venable, MSGySgt, USMC (ret).

Each year there is an Adult Leaders Conference (ALC) usually held in Reno, NV.  Registered Adults (RAs) who attend receive a great deal of training in the Young Marine program.  They (hopefully) take that training back to their units and apply what they have learned.  There’s also a lot of networking while relaxing after hours.  It’s held for three days culminating with a Young Marine being named National Young Marine of the Year.

One item that is always debated in the program is – who leads a unit?  The Unit Commander (UC) and the Executive Officer (XO) are elected by the unit RAs every two years.  Each RA has a specific job assignment (by the UC).  But this program is about, for and lead by the Young Marines themselves.

The RAs are there to assist.  The Young Marines have three leadership schools, the Junior (JLS), Senior (SLS) and the Advanced (ALS).  As he name implies it’s about Leadership.  The program is set up that as the Young Marine advances through the ranks the RAs are to step back a little each time.  Lead by example and from the front but get out of their way so they can learn about leadership, too!  When this doesn’t happen a lot of unnecessary conflict occurs.

When I was the UC (founder with Detachment 1140 behind me) the Tehama County Young Marines were the recipients of the 2009 Fulcrum Shield from the Secretary of Defense, the 2010 National Unit of the Year (out of 300), we had two Jimmy Trimble Scholarship winners in 2010 and 2011 and received proclamations from the City of Red Bluff, the County of Tehama, the California State Assembly and the California Sheriffs Association.

Yes, I was the UC but to be perfectly honest those Young Marines earned all those awards for themselves and no one else.  I just felt fortunate that they allowed any adults to be involved with them.  Teenagers do not have to let us in like we might think.  We work for them in many ways, but the most simple way is just to get out of their way and let them lead the way the program teaches them at the Leadership Schools.

To be involved with our youth takes a great deal of patience.  But that’s also the way they also feel about us.  We stand on common ground.  They want us involved even if for only a few hours each month.  Ask your local Unit Commander how to become a RA.  “Every child needs another healthy adult in their life.”

After nine years of being involved in the Young Marine program I have developed a thought that says it best for me:  “Everything I know about the Young Marines, I learned from the Young Marines and a few good men and women.”

Semper Fidelis,

Marine John W. Minton


“The principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits, of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character, of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow, without impediment from our fellow creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse or wrong.”  John Stuart Mill




Department of California & Detachment 597 Liaison: Mel & Nancy Otte

The Young Marines is the official youth program of the Marine Corps League. Founded in 1958 to promote the mental, moral and physical development of young Americans. October, 1965 the League chartered The Young Marines as a National program. In 1974, The Young Marines were chartered as a subsidiary organization of the Marine Corps League. The organization was granted status as a youth educational organization with the IRS in 1980. In July of 1993, the United States Marine Corps officially designated the Young Marines program as “the focal organization for fulfilling its participation in the Department of Defense’s drug demand reduction activities.” Young Marines make a pledge to maintain a drugfree lifestyle and are encouraged to influence family, friends, and schoolmates to share this commitment.

The Young Marines offer a variety of activities specifically designed to develop greater self-esteem, discipline and self-confidence in its members. Character building is one of the most important objectives of the Young Marine program, and all of its activities emphasize the importance of honesty, courage, respect, loyalty, dependability, and a sense of devotion to God, country, community and family.

Young   Marine Obligation Young   Marine Creed 14   Leadership Traits
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 it’s 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 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 a t play.
5. Remember having   self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an   emergency.
1.   Justice
2. Judgement
3. Decisiveness
4. Integrity
5. Dependability
6. Tact
7. Initiative
8. Enthusiasm
9. Bearing
10. Unseflishness
11. Courage
12. Knowledge
13. Loyalty
14. Endurance

11 General Orders

1. To take charge of   this post and all Young Marine property in view.
2. To walk my post in   a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that   takes place within sight or hearing.
3. To report all   violations of orders I have been instructed to enforce.
4. To report all calls   from posts more distant from the “Guardhouse” than my own.
5. To quit my post   only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey   and pass on to the Young Marine who relieves me all orders, from the   Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, and officers and NCO of the guard   only.
7. To talk to no one   except in the line of duty.
8. To give the alarm   in case of fire or disorder.
9. To call the   Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
10. To salute all   officers and all Colors and Standards not cased.
11. To be especially   watchful at night and to question all persons on or near my post and to   report all personnel without proper authority.