Marine Corps League Liaison James R. Laskey named to board of directors of the Young Marines
Monday, October 05, 2015
The members of the board of directors of the Young Marines announce a new board member - James R. Laskey, the Marine Corps League Liaison.
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Young Marines host a free concert featuring patriotic rock band Madison Rising
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The Young Marines is hosting a free concert with America's most patriotic rock band - Madison Rising at Barnett Field, MCB Quantico, Virginia. The concert is in appreciation of active duty Marines and Wounded Warriors.
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Marine Colonel (Ret.) Richard Yoder named to board of directors of the Young Marines
Wednesday, September 02, 2015
Yoder's distinguished military career spanned 31 years, and he served in some of the most important and sensitive assignments including Head, Promotion Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps where he ensured timely promotions for Marines across the entire
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Major General (Ret.) Angela Salinas named to board of directors of the Young Marines
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
At the time of her retirement from the Marine Corps, Salinas earned the distinction as the longest serving woman in the history of the Marine Corps, the senior ranking woman, and the senior ranking Hispanic in the Corps.
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Young Marines featured in National Museum of the Marine Corps
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The Young Marines have pledged to support the historic completion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The pledge creates a sponsorship of a classroom for the Young Marines and a display of Young Marines historical artifacts and history.
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175 Young Marines travel to Arizona for Navajo Code Talkers Day
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Every year since 2006, Young Marines from across the country gather in Window Rock, AZ, to honor and act as escorts for Navajo Code Talkers from WWII during Navajo Code Talkers Day, Friday, Aug. 14.
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Young Marines announces ‘National Unit of the Year’ - Natchaug River Unit from Danielson, CT
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Natchaug River Young Marines in Danielson, Connecticut, was named the 'National Unit of the Year' at the Adult Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.
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Young Marines participate in GLOCK's pledge drive for firearms safety
Monday, June 01, 2015
The Young Marines is partnering with GLOCK on its "Pledge, Practice, Promote Firearms Safety" pledge campaign which takes place during the month of June.
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The DEA presents Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena Awards to six Young Marines units
Thursday, May 28, 2015
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Young Marines youth organization announced the Young Marines unit winners of the Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Award.
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Young Marines Board Member William J. Walker Named D.C. National Guard Land Component Commander
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Colonel William J. Walker assumed command of the District of Columbia National Guard Land Component Command. COL Walker was nominated by President Barack Obama last Nov.
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Lucas Ward of Farmington, Ill. named ‘National Young Marine of the Year’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
YM SgtMaj Lucas Ward, 17, of Farmington, Illinois is the 2015 - 2016 National Young Marine of the Year. Ward will travel throughout the country representing the Young Marines.
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William P. Davis - new national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines
Monday, May 11, 2015
William P. Davis, Colonel, United States Marine Corps (Retired), will take the helm as national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. Davis is an accomplished executive whose commitment to young people is of paramount importance during his
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The Young Marines forms partnership with Madison Rising, America’s most patriotic rock band
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
The Young Marines, a national youth organization, announces a new partnership with Madison Rising, America’s most patriotic rock band. The partnership will kick off as Madison Rising embarks on the Concerned Veterans for America’s 23-city Defend Free
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Young Marines scale Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima
Friday, March 20, 2015
Today, 11 youth members of the Young Marines are accompanying 49 veterans on a plane trip from Guam to Iwo Jima as part of the annual “Reunion of Honor.”
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Eleven Young Marines join American and Japanese veterans for the annual ‘Reunion of Honor’ on Guam and Iwo Jima
Monday, March 16, 2015
Eleven youth members of the Young Marines are travelling to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor” which takes place March 16 – 23, 2015.
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World War II vets headed back to Iwo Jima, Young Marines make it possible
Friday, January 30, 2015
Medal of Honor recipient Herschel “Woody” Williams will be among the 15 World War II veterans headed back to Iwo Jima next month, and he has the Young Marines to thank for it.
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Young Marines Names Division Young Marines of the Year
Thursday, January 29, 2015
The Young Marines youth organization has named six division winners of one of its most prestigious awards - the “Division Young Marine of the Year.”
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Two Young Marines awarded Jimmie Trimble Scholarship
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Young Marines SgtMaj Alex Loria of Chantilly, VA, and Young Marines GySgt Brittany Hannah of Miami, FL, are the recipients of the Young Marines’ Jimmie Trimble Scholarship Award.
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Young Marines units from across the nation traveled to Hawaii for 73rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
One hundred forty one youth members of the Young Marines from nine states traveled to Hawaii to participate in the 73rd anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration.
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Red Carpet Event for the Young Marines Documentary Premiere Followed by PBS Airing in KY
Friday, October 31, 2014
The national premiere of a 30-minute documentary film, “Generations of Honor: A Year with the Young Marines”, will take place at the historic Kentucky Theatre. The film will air on PBS in KY on Veteran’s Day.
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‘Semper Fidelis’ among tween and teen sisters
Thursday, October 03, 2013

Base sisters at Navajo Code Talkers Day in Window Rock, AZSome sisters share Barbie doll collections. Some share a passion for ballet. The four Base sisters from Seal Beach, CA, can holler, "Oorah," and mean it. The sisters, ranging in age from 9 to 15 have found a steel-strong bond within the Young Marines youth organization which is dedicated to education and service.

They are Keira Base, 9; Kendra Base, 11; Klarisse Base, 14; and Kalista Base, 15. They are the daughters of Katja and Ken Base  of Seal Beach, CA., and members of the Southeast County Young Marines.

The story begins in 2009 when the family went to a display of Marine assault amphibian vehicles in Oceanside, CA. The four sisters met members of the Camp Pendleton Eagle Young Marines who were manning a booth advocating drug demand reduction and providing information about the Young Marines.

After talking to the Young Marines, Kendra Base, then 9, was adamant about her desire to join the organization. Her parents were somewhat reluctant only because they feared the program would interfere with Kendra’s musical education. Their daughter pledged to continue her good grades and promised she wouldn’t lose any practice time. In April, 2011, her parents consented.

The next step was a week’s worth of recruit training. Kendra and older sister Klarisse attended Camp Talega at Camp Pendleton. As her dad drove off, Klarisse stuck her head out of the window of the bus and yelled, "Bye, Daddy, I love you!"

The girls’ father heard a deep voice on the bus say, gently but firmly, “Get your head back in the window and eyes forward, Base."

“We had just sent our 9 and 12 year olds off to nearly a week of recruit training!” Katja said. “Recruit graduation a week later was our first first-hand observation of the positives of the Young Marines program. It was neat, too, to be at Talega, where my husband's father had been a young recruit in training for the Marines more than 40 years earlier.”

Camp Talega was the first recruit graduation ceremony Katja and Ken witnessed, but it certainly wasn’t the last. In 2012, their youngest – Keira - and second oldest – Klarisse – joined the Young Marines.

“The Young Marines program inspires our girls to do their best,” Katja said. “They are encouraged to be independent and to focus on academics. In addition, they attend leadership schools, give speeches and apply for scholarships. YM has instilled the importance of exercise and living a drug free lifestyle. As an added benefit, they are meeting people from all over the United States and making lifelong friends.”

The Bases are especially glad their daughters are provided experiences that bring history to life such as when they participated in commemorations of Pearl Harbor, Veteran’s Day and other ceremonies.

The Young Marines program has made the younger two Base sisters more independent and self sufficient. One of the biggest challenges for an 8 or 9 year old is to pack his or her duffel bag for encampments. Katja and Ken were surprised when their 9-year-old followed the list and packed her own clothes and equipment, carefully checking off items.

Pvt. Keira Base, 9, really enjoyed meeting veterans at Navajo Code Talkers Day on Aug. 14, in Arizona, especially Gene Bell who was a witness to the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. 

“At one of the encampments, I repelled off of a cliff,” Keira said. “I crawled up the side of the mountain to get to where the Marines were. It was really high, and I got scared. A Marine clipped me onto a rope next to him. I was still scared, so he gave me a bracelet and said, ‘This is a bracelet I made, and it brings you good luck. It will help you get down.’ I wasn't scared anymore. When we got down I said, ‘That was fun.’ He told me I could keep the bracelet. I took it to school and showed my friends. I can't wait to go back to regimental encampment and repel down the cliff again.”

PFC Klarisse Base, 11, enjoyed touring USS Sampson and being able to sit in the captain's chair.

“I noticed that there was a woman in charge of the destroyer ship,” Klarisse said, “so I learned that even though I’m a girl, I can accomplish anything. I am having fun taking the trips like Navajo Code Talkers Day and Pearl Harbor. Going to all these places helps me to learn history.”

Sgt. Kendra Base, 15, says that one of the best experiences she ever had was called SPACES MACH III. She was able to earn a Top Gun patch by participating in a fighter plane simulator.

“The academics at leadership schools and programs like MACH III are challenging, but rewarding,” Kendra said. “The best part about taking these trips is meeting great people from all over the U.S. who are now my friends. We keep in touch and plan for the next big national events such as leadership school, Pearl Harbor, Code Talkers Day and encampments.”

Cpl. Kalista Base, 14, received the title of "Most Motivated" when she finished recruit training. Her favorite activities are going to encampments, singing cadences, participating in color guard and meeting other Young Marines.

“I really enjoy talking to all the veterans and hearing their stories,” Kalista said. “They always give good advice to us. We met Tom Berg, who’s 94, at Pearl Harbor. He told us to go to college and get a degree. Recently, I was given the honor of carrying the Arizona flag at the Navajo Code Talker Day parade in Window Rock, Arizona.”

For the four Base sisters, the Young Marines is a family affair.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

For more information, visit


Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations