Young Marines Units in WA and Portland, OR

xxWA young marines

xxWA young marinesxxWA young marinesThe Young Marines

Another military group in the schools, enabling access to students as young as 8 years old. Read below for Glock, guns, and the Young Marines….

About the Young Marines

Who We Are
The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines is the premier youth organization in its Drug Demand Reduction Efforts.

Membership
The Young Marines is open to all youth ages 8 through 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 1958, with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to approximately 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Japan; with affiliates in a host of other countries.

Our Volunteers
Young Marines units are community-based programs lead by dedicated adult volunteers. Many of these volunteers are former, retired, active duty, or reserve Marines who believe passionately that the values they learned as Marines had a positive effect on them. It is through these caring adults that Young Marines learn the inner values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment while instilling our corps values of Leadership, Discipline and Teamwork. Adult volunteers are individually screened by the National Headquarters based on background information and recommendations provided with each person’s registration.

Training
Upon joining a local Young Marines unit, youth undergo a 26-hour orientation program, generally spread out over several weekly meetings. This orientation program is affectionately 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 Marines “Recruit Training”, the youth have the opportunity to learn more new skills, earn rank, wear the Young Marines 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.

Awards
The Young Marines is the proud five-time recipient of the Department of Defense’s Fulcrum Shield Award for Excellence in Youth Anti-Drug Programs. The award recognizes military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made concerted efforts at spreading anti-drug messages throughout their communities.

Young Marines Veterans Appreciation Week
For one week in November each year, Young Marines units across the country celebrate Young Marines Veterans Appreciation Week (YMVAW). The purpose of the campaign is to challenge our Young Marines to dedicate some of their time to help our nation’s veterans and to demonstrate, through their actions, their sincere appreciation for our veterans’ service to our country. Unit projects include sending thank you cards to hospitalized veterans, cleaning up a disabled veteran’s yard, visiting veterans in the hospital, or simply setting up a community function to socialize with local veterans.

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

Motto
Strengthening the lives of America’s youth

Young Marine Obligation
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 its 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.

Young Marine Creed
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 at play.
5. Remember having self-discipline will enable me to control my body and mind in case of an emergency.

National Programs
During the summer months, Young Marines have the opportunity to attend the Young Marines National Summer Programs of: Adventures, Challenges, Encampments, and Schools (SPACES). Schools consist of leadership courses. Adventures, have a historical emphasis and are designed with the younger child in mind. In contrast, older Young Marines can participate in Challenges. Challenges consist of training in areas such as survival skills, wilderness training, and water-based activities. Young Marine Encampments provide the opportunity for Young Marines of all ages to gather together and train as a large unit of up to 700 youth at a time. Over 3,000 Young Marines participate in the SPACES programs each year.

R.Lee Ermey, official celebrity spokesperson
The Young Marines are honored to have R. Lee Ermey as their official celebrity spokesperson. Mr. Ermey garnered worldwide acclaim for his portrayal of Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s film, Full Metal Jacket (1987).

Chester, the official mascot
Chester, the puppy bulldog, is the Young Marines official mascot. Chester enjoys all the benefits of Young Marines membership such as the opportunity to earn rank and ribbons, wear the Young Marines uniform, and a free subscription to the Young Marines Esprit magazine.

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GLOCK donates $50,000 to the Young Marines at the 2014 AUSA Annual Meeting

“While attending their National Leadership Academy, members of the Young Marines received a comprehensive gun safety class and then had the opportunity to shoot the Scholastic Pistol Program series of targets. GLOCK provided the handguns, and Tori Nonaka, GLOCK’s national junior champion, provided demonstrations and assisted with the challenge.”

Glock, maker of handguns. It all makes sense.

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Article about JROTC in Oregon school in “Rethinking Schools”

Teacher Sylvia McCauley has written a terrific article about the paradoxes of militarism in her school in the fall issue of Rethinking Schools.

The Military Invasion of My High School: The Role of JROTC” tells the story of the JROTC at Reynolds High School in Oregon, but the focus on luring students at risk, and the contradictions with non-violent conflict educational philosophies are common at other schools with JROTC. Ms. McCauley also details the history that led to schools accepting and promoting militarism and JROTC.

The author, Sylvia McGauley, is a teacher at Reynolds High School in Oregon – where in June a deranged JROTC student shot a student and injured a teacher before taking his own life. “This tragedy,” the article notes, “highlights the importance of closing down programs that feed violent tendencies in vulnerable students and contradict school-based efforts to teach nonviolent conflict resolution.”

After the article was accepted for publication in “Rethinking Schools” (an always excellent resource for students, teachers, and activists), a JROTC student at Reynolds high school brought a semi-automatic rifle and pistol, a knife, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to school. He killed a student and injured a teacher before the police came and he killed himself. Of course, not all JROTC students are violent: of course, not all violence at schools is from the presence of JROTC. But the acceptance of the violence of military solutions to conflicts paves the way for further violence.

 

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A National Call: Save Civilian Public Education

Please consider the militarization and commercialization of our schools, and pass on this national call. The actual website is much more pleasing to read, and contains the active links. 


A National Call: Save Civilian Public Education

Over the last several decades, the Pentagon,conservative forces, and corporations have been systematically working to expand their presence in the K-12 learning environment and in public universities. The combined impact of the military, conservative think tanks and foundations,  and of corporatization of our public educational systems has eroded the basic democratic concept of civilian public education.   It is a trend that, if allowed to continue, will weaken the primacy of civilian rule and, ultimately, our country’s commitment to democratic ideals.

The signers of this statement believe it is urgent for all advocates of social justice, peace and the environment to recognize the dangerous nature of this problem and confront it with deliberate action.


THE THREAT TO CIVILIAN EDUCATION 

The most aggressive outside effort to use the school system to teach an ideology with ominous long-term implications for society comes from the military establishment. Over the last two decades, with relatively little media coverage or public outcry, the Pentagon’s involvement in schools and students’ lives has grown exponentially. Now, for example:

  • Every school day, at least half a million high school students attend Junior ROTC classes to receive instruction from retired officers who are handpicked by the Pentagon to teach its own version of history and civics. These students are assigned “ranks” and conditioned to believe that military and civilian values are similar, with the implication that unquestioning obedience to authority is therefore a feature of good citizenship.
  • Armed forces academies are being established in some public schools (Chicago now has eight), where all students are given a heavy dose of military culture and values.
  • A network of military-related programs is spreading in hundreds of elementary and middle schools. Examples are the Young Marines and Starbase programs, and military programs that sneak into schools under the cloak of Science / Technology / Engineering / Math (STEM) education.
  • Military recruiters are trained to pursue “school ownership” as their goal (see: “Army School Recruiting Program Handbook”). Their frequent presence in classrooms, lunch areas and at assemblies has the effect of popularizing military values, soldiering and, ultimately, war.
  • Since 2001, federal law has overridden civilian school autonomy and family privacy when it comes to releasing student contact information to the military. Additionally, each year thousands of schools allow the military to administer its entrance exam — the ASVAB — to 10th-12th graders, allowing recruiters to bypass laws protecting parental rights and the privacy of minors and gain access to personal information on hundreds of thousands of students.

 

THE THREAT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION

Efforts by groups outside the school system to inject conservatism and corporate values into the learning process have been going on for a number of years. In a recent example of right-wing educational intervention, The New York Times reported that tea party groups, using lesson plans and coloring books, have been pushing schools to “teach a conservative interpretation of the Constitution, where the federal government is a creeping and unwelcome presence in the lives of freedom-loving Americans.” (See:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/us/constitution-has-its-day-amid-a-struggle-for-its-spirit.html )

Corporations have been projecting their influence in schools with devices like Channel One, a closed-circuit TV program that broadcasts commercial content daily to captive student audiences in 8,000 schools. Some companies have succeeded in convincing schools to sign exclusive contracts for pizza, soft drinks and other products, with the goal of teaching early brand loyalty to children. A National Education Policy Center report issued in November 2011 documents the various ways in which business/school partnerships are harming children educationally by channeling student thinking “into a corporate-friendly track” and stunting their ability to think critically. (See: http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/schoolhouse-commercialism-2011 )

The development of this corporate-friendly track dovetails with a radical corporate agenda to dismantle America’s public education system. States across the country are slashing educational spending, outsourcing public teacher jobs, curbing collective-bargaining rights, and marginalizing teachers’ unions. There is a proliferation of charter and “cyber” schools that promote private sector involvement and a push toward for-profit schools where the compensation paid to private management companies is tied directly to student performance on standardized assessments.  The cumulative effect is the creation of institutions that cultivate a simplistic ideology that merges consumerism with subservience. (See: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/michigan-privatize-public-education )

The corporatization of education via charter schools and the administration sector growth at universities is another troubling trend for public education.  Diane Ravitch’s book Reign of Error ( http://www.npr.org/2013/09/27/225748846/diane-ravitch-rebukes-education-activists-reign-of-error ) and Henry A. Giroux’s newest bookNeoliberalism’s War on Higher Education,  ( http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22548-henry-giroux-beyond-neoliberal-miseducation ) give pointers to the doubtful role of corporate values in public education. 

Why is this happening?  Giroux notes that “Chris Hedges, the former New York Times correspondent, appeared on Democracy Now! in 2012 and told host Amy Goodman the federal government spends some $600 billion a year on education—“and the corporations want it.”

There are also some organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective, such as the Howard Zinn Education Project (https://zinnedproject.org ) and Rethinking Schools ( http://www.rethinkingschools.org ). And a small movement is working against Channel One and the commercialization of the school environment (e.g., http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education and ( http://www.obligation.org ).

 

STOPPING THESE THREATS

There is reason to be hopeful about reversing this trend if we look, for example, at some of the successes in grassroots efforts to curb militarism in schools. In 2009, a coalition of high school students, parents and teachers in the very conservative, military-dominated city of San Diego succeeded in getting their elected school board to shut down JROTC firing ranges at eleven high schools. Two years later, the same coalition got the school board to pass a policy significantly limiting military recruiting in all of its schools. Though such initiatives are relatively few in number, similar victories have been won in other school districts and on the state level in Hawaii and Maryland.

There are also some organizations supporting efforts to introduce history and civics lessons from a progressive perspective, such as the Zinn Education Project (www.zinnedproject.org) and Rethinking Schools (www.rethinkingschools.org). And a small movement is working against Channel One and the commercialization of the school environment (e.g., http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education/ and http://www.obligation.org/ ).

As promising and effective as these efforts are, they pale in comparison to the massive scale of what groups on the other side of the political spectrum are proactively doing in the educational environment to preserve the influence of conservatism, militarism and corporate power. 

It is time for progressive organizations, foundations and media to confront this and become equally involved in the educational system. It is especially important that more organizations unite to oppose the growing intrusion of the Pentagon in K-12 schools and universities. Restoring the primacy of critical thinking and democratic values in our culture cannot be done without stopping the militarization and corporate takeover of public education.

 

Next: Where Do We Go From Here?

The “Where Do We Go From Here” page lists ideas for action and groups that offer useful resources and background information.

 

 

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Chinese proverb: “When planning for a year, plant rice. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.” 
Guanzi (c. 645 BC)

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Contact information

Our website is under construction!

But we are still available.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact:

Mike Dedrick  mikededrick@comcast.net

Kathy Barker   kbarker715@comcast.net

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NNOMY

We are a member organization of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) at http://nnomy.org! They’re on Facebook too.

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