We are the Southwest Michigan Young Marines, located in BATTLE CREEK, MI and are proud to be a part of our nation’s premiere, award-winning program for boys and girls between the ages of eight and eighteen.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 is the premier youth organization in its Drug Demand Reduction efforts.
The Young Marines is open to all youth ages 8 through the completion of high school. The only membership requirement is that the youth must be in good standing at school. Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings, in 1959, with one unit and handful of boys, the organization has grown respectively with units throughout the country and overseas.
Upon joining a local Young Marine unit, youth undergo a 26-hour orientation program, generally spread out over several weekly meetings. This orientation is called Recruit Training. The youth learn general subjects such as history, customs and courtesies, close order drill, physical fitness, and military rank structure. After graduating from Young Marine Recruit Training, the youth have the opportunity to learn even more new skills, earn rank, wear the Young Marine uniform and work toward ribbon awards. Young Marines earn ribbons for achievement in areas such as leadership, community service, swimming, academic excellence, first aid and drug resistance education.