In a ceremony held at the Navy Operational Support Center in West Palm Beach on Nov. 6, four young men, ages 10 to 13, were honored for successfully completing the Young Marines’ 12-week recruit training program.
These graduates passed numerous tests, learned U.S. history, camping and first aid skills, the dangers of drugs, Marine Corps courtesies and customs, and more. They improved their self-discipline, learned close order drill skills and became part of the team of young people, ages 8 to 18, who are the Young Marines of the Palm Beaches.
During the graduation ceremony, Cindy Townsend, adjutant of the Alpha Battalion of the First Florida Regiment, announced Young Marines of the Palm Beaches as the 2019 Battalion Unit of the Year.
“Your hard work this past year has not gone unnoticed,” Townsend said.
During the past year, several Young Marines earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for their many hours of community service, and the unit regularly honored veterans at Honor Flight, parades and ceremonies at the South Florida National Cemetery. They’ve planted trees and worked at multiple events to reach other youth with warnings about the dangers of addiction.
The unit has also participated in events far beyond the local area, including attending a Navajo Code Talkers Day program in Arizona; leadership schools in central Florida, Michigan and Arizona; and the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. The Young Marines Birthday Ball in Wellington and encampments in Tequesta have included guests from the PFC Bruce Carter MOH Young Marines in Miami-Dade, and they’ve worked with local Sea Cadets on several training exercises and other events.
Young Marines is a national after-school and weekend program for boys and girls ages 8 to 18 that aims to impart the positive values and skills taught by the U.S. Marine Corps. Orientations and registration for the Young Marines of the Palm Beaches’ next recruit training class, which begins Jan. 8, 2020, is now underway. Visit www.palmbeachym.org for more information.