Western New York Young Marines

Who We Are / Membership

Interested in more information about the Western New York Young Marines? For additional questions you can  contact us at 716-998-5654 or via email by completing the information on our "Contact Me" page.


The Young Marines is the Marine Corps official youth program to the Department of Defense for youth Drug Demand Reduction.  We are NOT a recruiting force for the military.  We do not receive any funding from the Marine Corps or National Headquarters.  The unit relies solely on fundraisers, donations and dues to operate.  Our unit is led by dedicated adult volunteers who are individually screened by the National Headquarters based on background information and recommendations provided with each person's registration.  Several of our volunteer staff members are prior or active military personnel who passionately believe that the values they learned while serving in the Armed Forces had a positive affect on them.  It is through these  caring adult staff members that the Young Marines learn the inner values of Leadership, Teamwork and Dedication.  The staff are members because they believe in the program and want to make a difference in these kids and in our communities.   We are so proud each and every time our Young Marines receive compliments from people in the community.  Whether we are in a parade or performing community service, our kids are complimented on their appearance, demeanor and manners. 

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

Parental participation and support is extremely important to the success of the kids and our program.  We do need parents to help in special events, extra activities and fundraisers. 

Age and gender are not factors in this program, everyone is treated equally and everyone has the same opportunities.  In this program, Young Marines only get what they have earned.  Nothing is simply handed to them, they earn ribbons and promotions.  We can have an older Young Marine hold a lower rank than a younger Young Marine.  Young Marines are expected to have respect for rank of a Young Marine, and not the age of the Young Marine.  Participation is a key to their success.  We have a strict hands off policy.  There is no swearing or belittling tolerated in our program.   

We have drug and alcohol reduction classes.  We have people from the community teach classes to our Young Marines; classes such as CPR and map and land navigation classes. 

Teamwork is key, it is stressed in everything we do.  This program is not only about teamwork but getting along with others.  We teach the children that throughout life they will need to work with people they initially may not get along with but it will be imperative that they learn to work it out.  Many of our Young Marines have become friends whereas in a different environment, they may never have even tried.  Community service is extremely important to the Young Marine program.  It is a vital part of earning promotions. 

Although we command the respect of the Young Marines, we realize they are children and want to have fun, so we have fun.  They will learn that they can have fun without drugs, alcohol, being bullies, etc.  They will realize that by showing others respect both in and outside of drill they in return will be respected.  They will become more confident with themselves and their beliefs.  They will see and feel the rewards of helping others in need.  All these things will become second nature to them. 

The Young Marines program is not a babysitting service, day care program or military school.  We are in no way associated with the latest trend in 'reality' shows on television.  We are not a 'scared straight' or 'boot camp' program for troubled youth, nor are we in the business of reforming 'wayward' teenagers.  We cannot 'fix' children with discipline problems.  Our staff members will however try to re-enforce standards of good behavior and academic achievement expected by any parent, as well as by society, for their child. 
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