San Diego Young Marines Trade ‘Civies' For ‘Cammies'
(May 29, 2010)
|MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. (MCN - 5/22/2010) — Loud drill instructors running around screaming at recruits is generally what people think about boot camp, but Young Marines train the same way.|
Parents, family members, Marines and Young Marines gathered at Mills Park for the graduation ceremony of the San Diego Young Marines May 22.
|The San Diego Young Marines salute during the national anthem at their graduation ceremony at Mills Park May 22. The eight- to 17-year-old children went through nine weeks of recruit training led by active duty enlisted Marines, including volunteers stationed here.|
|Forty-nine Young Marines graduated from the program designed for children from ages eight to 17. They went through nine weeks of training to learn the core values of being in the military.|
“I was able to teach these kids about professionalism, discipline and character,” said Cpl. Dominic M. Lombardo, a crew chief and operations clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the San Diego Young Marines.
Lombardo volunteered more than 1,200 hours working with the Young Marines.
The nine-week recruit training program mimics the training Marines go through during boot camp, and for many of the children, it is their first time having a role model to mentor them, explained Lombardo.
The Young Marines learned about the Uniform Code of Military Justice, drill movements, basic formations, core values and military rank structures.
“We are here to teach them what a Young Marine is,” said Lombardo.
Many of the children came from single-parent families, difficult situations or referrals from families who had their own kids go through the program.
“A lot of people think that all of these kids are strictly from military families, but they aren't, they are from all over San Diego,” said Angel DeLuz, a volunteer with the Young Marines and family readiness program trainer with Marine Corps Community Services. “For some of the kids it is the first time that they are finishing something and learning about self-respect.”
The program began with 60 children and ended up with 49 graduates. Some of the kids earned different ranks and billets during the training, and some were meritoriously promoted at the graduation ceremony.
After the ceremony concluded attendees indulged in food beverages and cake, and the families of the Young Marines embraced and congratulated their children for their hard work and dedication.
Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Steven H. Posy
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
Reprinted from Marine Corps News
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