PUBLIC NEWS RELEASES
Young Marines Alumni Association is Launched
Monday, October 27, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization now has an Alumni Association for its more than 60,000 former members. Former YM SgtMajor Edgar Huff, who was the 2004 National Young Marine of the Year, has been named executive director of the new association.
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Young Marines Wins its 6th Dept. of Defense Award for Anti-Drug Education
Monday, October 20, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization’s Drug Demand Reduction Program is the winner of the 2014 Annual Fulcrum Shield Award for Excellence in Youth Anti-Drug Education.
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GLOCK donates $50,000 to the Young Marines at the 2014 AUSA Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
 
The Young Marines received a $50,000 donation from GLOCK on Monday, Oct. 13, at the Association of United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Expo.
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American Legion Child Welfare Foundation Recipients Share Success of Grant
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
 
Joe Lusignan, Deputy Director, West Coast Operations of the Young Marines, discusses "Closing the gate on Drugs" Drug Demand Reduction kits with American Legion family members during the eighth annual Children & Youth Conference in Indianapolis.
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223 Young Marines meet World War II Navajo Code Talkers
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
 
Two hundred twenty three members of the Young Marines including registered adult leaders traveled to Window Rock, AZ, to be part of Navajo Code Talkers Day which was Thursday, Aug. 14. Seventeen veteran Navajo Code Talkers attended.
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Scott Riley of the Columbus Young Marines named ‘National Adult Volunteer of the Year’
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization has named Scott Riley the “National Adult Volunteer of the Year” at the annual Adult Leaders Conference held in Washington D.C. Riley is the Unit Commander of Columbus Young Marines from Division 5 located in Colu
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Young Marines announces ‘National Unit of the Year’ - Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Unit from Knoxville, TN
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization announced the “National Unit of the Year” – Division Three’s Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Unit in Knoxville, TN, under the command of Virgil L. Young, Jr.
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National Executive Director and CEO Mike Kessler announces future retirement from the Young Marines
Thursday, August 07, 2014
 
Mike Kessler, National Executive Director and CEO of the Young Marines, announces his retirement which will take place in late 2015.
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The Young Marines unveil a new and expanded Drug Demand Reduction Program: ‘Closing the Gate on Drugs’
Monday, July 14, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization took its drug demand reduction efforts to the next level by launching a new program titled, “Closing the Gate on Drugs.” The program focuses on the drugs that our youth are exposed to early and most often - the ga
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The DEA and Young Marines present Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena Awards to six units
Monday, June 16, 2014
 
The DEA and Young Marines announce Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Award winners. The award honors six units, one award per division, for drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.
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Blake DeWeese named ‘National Young Marine of the Year’
Friday, June 13, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization announced the 2014 - 2015 “National Young Marine of the Year” – YM SgtMaj Blake W. DeWeese, 18, of Beaverton, OR. As National Young Marine of the Year, DeWeese will travel throughout the country representing the Y
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Young Marines grateful for a grant from American Legion Child Welfare Foundation
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
 
The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation has provided a $90,000 grant to the Young Marines youth organization for the purpose of creating printed materials to use in its campaigns to reduce the demand for drugs through education.
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The Young Marines News Network wins second Telly Award
Monday, April 28, 2014
 
The 35th annual Telly Awards have been announced, and a Nov., 2013, broadcast of the Young Marines News Network won a 2014 bronze Telly in the online video category.
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Honorary Young Marine Zach Veach, teen race car driver, wins Indy Lights
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization salutes teen race car driver Zach Veach, 19, on his first place win in the season opener of the Indy Lights race held Sunday, March 30, in St. Petersburg, FL. He won by leading every lap of the race.
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Ten Young Marines Return From a Very Special ‘Reunion of Honor’ on Guam and Iwo Jima
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
 
Young Marines traveled to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor.” Each year, American and Japanese veterans and their families come together for remembrances of their fallen brothers and to recall the fierce battles.
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Twenty Young Marines to participate in United Nations Conference
Thursday, March 06, 2014
 
Twenty youth members of the Young Marines youth organization are traveling from across the country to New York City on March 8 – 12, 2014, to participate in a conference held by the United Nations.
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Young Marines names six Division Young Marines of the Year
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization has named six division winners in its most prestigious award - the “Division Young Marines of the Year.”
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ABC Features the Young Marines Performing a Wreath Laying Ceremony at Pearl Harbor
Sunday, December 08, 2013
 
Friday, Dec. 6, youth members of the Young Marines performed a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI, in memory of the brave men and women who are interred there.
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Young Marines From Across the Nation Travel to Hawaii for 72nd Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack
Monday, December 02, 2013
 
Youth members of the Young Marines will travel to Hawaii to participate in the 72nd anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration. The Young Marines will lead the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu and perform a wreath laying ceremony at the Natio
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Gary Weisbaum named Chief Marketing Officer of the Young Marines youth organization
Monday, November 18, 2013
 
Gary Weisbaum accepted a position as the Chief Marketing Officer for the Young Marines. Weisbaum will coordinate the Young Marines brand and marketing programs across the United States.
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SELECTED ARTICLE
Blake DeWeese named ‘National Young Marine of the Year’
Friday, June 13, 2014
 

Blake DeWeese National Young Marine of the YearThe Young Marines youth organization announced the 2014 - 2015 “National Young Marine of the Year” – YM SgtMaj Blake W. DeWeese, 18, of Beaverton, OR. The Young Marines is a national non-profit youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school.

DeWeese represented Division Six in competing with five other Division Young Marines of the Year for the title which was announced at the Adult Leaders’ Conference for Young Marines June 4 – 7 in Washington, D.C.

“YM SgtMaj Blake W. DeWeese is the personification of all that is good about this organization,” said Michael Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “He has demonstrated all of the qualities we are looking for in that one Young Marine who will serve as our ambassador in his travels around the country and interact with Young Marines, parents and adult volunteers.”

“When my name was announced, I recalled my first day as a Young Marine recruit, and all the hardship I had to endure over the years to be where I am,” DeWeese said. “I thought of my Young Marines back home, and finally, I thought of the added responsibility. It will be no small task, but I am up to it.”

DeWeese said that word of his honor spread fast. People were at the airport to greet him, and the story was featured on the evening news. He received non-stop congratulations calls from friends and family.

"What's truly unique about the role of Young Marine of the Year is that it is newly defined each year by the Young Marine who earns the title,” said YM SgtMaj Dakota Richter, last year’s National Young Marine of the Year . “YM/SgtMaj DeWeese is the perfect character to take such a challenge and run with it; I can't wait to see where that road leads him."

Blake DeWeese joined the Young Marines at age 11, and today he’s in his seventh year in the program. He is a member of the Oregon Cascade Young Marines of Portland. He credits the Young Marines for providing a welcoming environment where he could thrive and develop leadership skills.

In 2013, he graduated 2nd in his class at the Advanced Leadership School and was chosen to participate in the annual National Advanced Leadership Symposium in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the Junior, Senior and Advanced Leadership School, all three at the national level.

“In 2014, I will be the academy Sergeant Major at the 2014 National Leadership Academies for which I am tasked with the management and overall mission success of the school,” DeWeese said. “I have fond memories of my schools, and I have the responsibility to ensure everyone in attendance walks away with the tools and resources necessary to better their respective units. Luckily, I have a great adult and Young Marine staff to help accomplish this task.”

As National Young Marine of the Year, DeWeese will travel throughout the country representing the Young Marines. In addition, he will be a mentor for the 11,000 youth members in the Young Marines.

“The Young Marines I have worked with have helped me so much,” DeWeese said. “I could not be where I am today without the lessons they have taught me. They lead by example and are all deserving of the highest of honors. I will do everything in my power to continue the stellar reputation of the Young Marines program.”

DeWeese plans to help increase the public awareness of the Young Marines program. In addition, he would like to foster improvement on the retention rate of Young Marines and provide members with the tools necessary to excel in the program.

“The National Young Marine of the Year is a great responsibility,” DeWeese said. “Those who came before me had their own flare and individuality, and I will emulate where I see fit. However, I am also excited to bring my own personality into the mix.” 

He recently traveled to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor” trip with nine other youth members of Young Marines. The weeklong trip was for the American and Japanese veterans who fought on the two islands during World War II.

“The Guam/Iwo Jima trip was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” DeWeese said. “I grew closer to the other nine Young Marines attendees than I thought possible. Speaking with veterans from the Vietnam War, the Korean War and even World War 2 was so enlightening and humbling. I am so grateful for everything they have done for this country.”

The son of Crystal and Todd DeWeese, he has two siblings – a brother and sister. DeWeese is a senior at Westview High School in Portland, OR. For two years, he was a long/triple jumper on Westview’s track team.

After he completes high school, DeWeese’s goal is to serve with MARSOC (Special Operations Command) in the United States Marine Corps and eventually land a career in international espionage for the CIA.

“The Young Marines has taught me valuable communication skills that would be assets in my future career,” DeWeese said. I have learned to be confident about my ambitions. I understand the path will be long and demanding, but the Young Marines has equipped me with the tools necessary for success.”

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, Thailand, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at: http://www.YoungMarines.com.

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Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or arichardson@gr-pr.com