The last Saturday of every August, all types of Marines from across Western Washington convoy to Enumclaw, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. They commemorate the 32 fellow Marines lost seven decades ago on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. Old ‘devil-dogs’ join active duty Marines along with these Young Marines.
The Young Marines program provides a drug-free alternative engagement and a chance to collectively achieve a higher standard than they might otherwise expect of themselves individually.
Carbon Glacier Young Marines Unit Commander, Kelli Johnson, took command of the CGYM unit three years ago. Her daughter found out about it before that and rocketed up the ranks. It didn’t take Johnson long either to see the critical value this was giving to so many young lives.
‘I see it building our future leaders’, Johnson said.
The unit recently took on a young charge that was failing school classes. The parents had nearly run out of hope. Johnson had the young man sign a pledge of his own accord, she reminded him ‘everything reflects on your unit…’, ‘…to not let fellow members of his unit down…’ In only a few months time, the turnaround shocked the parents.
The average join is 11-15 years old but the Young Marines accept ages 8-18. The program so impressed the Marine Corps Reserve members of Combat Logistics Battalion 23 that they are discussing having their kids join.
The CGYM meets every other Saturday. But they will, at long last, fulfill their ambition to hold a drill aboard the Marine Corps Reserve unit on Lewis Main during the Reserve unit’s drill as well. That co-located drill is scheduled to happen Sept. 24th.
The Young Marines often travel to locations such as Arizona, Florida scuba and space camp, a cowboy UN in Montana, Iwo Jima… they went to Pearl Harbor and Camp Pendleton & Disneyland on a 2015 trip as well.
For more information, email Kelli Johnson at ‘email@example.com’.