Parents, I have a question for you, and depending how you answer will decide whether you continue to read or move on. Are you fed up with your children not being given the opportunity to learn the essentials necessary to assist them in developing into a self-disciplined, morally responsible, patriotic, community-oriented, potential leader in American Society? Or are you teaching these values to your children at home, but feel you do not have any outside support, except perhaps from your church?
If your answer is yes, let us help. Please read on. However, if your answer is No, Goodbye.

We are a community-based youth organization located in the Fox Valley from McHenry to the North, to Rockford to the west and Aurora to the South. We are led by dedicated adult volunteers, some of whom are former, retired Marines who believe passionately the values they learned as Marines had a positive impact on their lives. It is through these caring adults that Young Marines learn the inner values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Adult volunteers are individually screened by National based on background information and recommendations provided with their registration. They also must receive a “green light” from a thorough background check prior to being approved as adult volunteers.

As you read on the home page, please understand, we are NOT a recruiting tool for the United States Marine Corps. The Corps recognizes us for our strong anti-substance abuse program. As such, they allow the kids to wear certain parts of their uniform, use their rank structure and some of their training philosophies. Granted, some of the kids go on to the military after school or college, but that is not our goal, nor is it in our mission statement. And I need to add that we are NOT a "Scared Straight" organization. If your child is in trouble with the law or in school, we are not qualified to provide assistance--your child needs professional help.

Young Marines National Information

Since our beginnings in 1959 in Waterbury, Connecticut, the Young Marines of the Marine Corps League has grown to become a recognized youth organization in over 270 communities across the country and in Japan. In 1965 the Young Marines were chartered, and so began the Young Marines as we know them today. Shortly thereafter, girls were included and our non-profit, 501(c)3 status was provided.
The Young Marines is the proud six-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 the anti-drug messages throughout their communities. 
During summer months, Young Marines can attend Young Marines National Summer Programs of: Adventures, Challenges, Encampments, and Schools (SPACES). Schools consist of leadership courses. Adventures have an historical emphasis and are designed with the younger child in mind. In contrast, older Young Marines can participate in challenges consisting of training in areas such as survival skills, wilderness training, and water-based activities. 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.
This video is provided courtesy of former National Young Marine of the Year Brittany Schmidt
The first step in becoming a Young Marine is to want to be one. That is, if you think you have what it takes to be one then come on in! If everybody could be a Young Marine, it wouldn't be the Young Marines. The ingredient needed is the desire to make something of yourself and enjoy it - it's that simple.
The second step is to solemnly take the following Young Marine Obligation

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.

When the Young Marine takes the Young Marine Obligation, it becomes the Young Marine's everyday duty and responsibility to always be on their best behavior, always give their very best effort in all they do, and never bring embarrassment or dishonor to the things they hold very important, like their God, country, family, themselves and the Young Marines.