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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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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Scott Riley of the Columbus Young Marines named ‘National Adult Volunteer of the Year’
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gene Overstreet and Mike Kessler presenting Scott Riley the Young Marines National Adult Volunteer of the Year award.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 Columbus, IN.

“Scott personifies the ‘we're-in-it-for-the-kids’ philosophy,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “He is unselfish and volunteers outside of his unit to assist with Young Marine-related activities with other units in other states. What more could you ask of a volunteer? He is very committed and highly respected for his dedication to the kids and to the program.”

Riley first volunteered with the Young Marines in 2003, in order to better bond with his sons who had joined the program at the same time. Over the last 11 years he has positively affected not only his sons’ lives but the lives of the youth in his community.

“The reason I keep doing this is that the Young Marines program continues to give back to me and my family,” he said. “It has helped us stay focused through some pretty rough times.”

Riley discovered the Young Marines through his oldest son. At the time, the family was struggling with the addiction of the boys’ biological father, and the sons were struggling with Riley becoming a father figure in their home.

The focus of the anti-drug program and the connection with the Marine Corps were tremendous catalysts for the good relationship Riley enjoys today with all three sons. He adopted the boys after their biological father no longer contacted them.

“This program gave us a means to stay together and united as a family,” Riley said. “My wife, Trena, was and remains the Unit Adjutant. The Young Marines provided us with a way to keep the boys minds off of the problems that they were having. It is a great reason why my sons are great young men today. Two of them joined the Marine Corps, and one is graduating from high school this year, largely in part, because of this program.”

The year Riley became Unit Commander; Trena was diagnosed with Lupus. The couple faced many harrowing decisions, and the future was very uncertain.

“The Young Marines family was always there to support and help us with an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on,” he said. “We used the program to help keep us working every day towards something that was positive. Just seeing the kids every week at drill would brighten Trena’s week. None of the kids knew she was ill, which made it more satisfying when she would get a hug or a “thank you” from a Young Marine.”

Fortunately Trena is in remission, but the whole time they were working through all of the treatments and surgeries, they were able to always say, “We have to get through this for our kids,” meaning both their own children and the young people of the unit.

“The kids, all 68 of them, are ‘our kids’” Riley said. “The best perk is watching a young kid grow into a leader. There is that moment when it all seems to make sense, and they understand everything they have been taught and how it works. That’s an awesome thing to be a part of.”

Riley said his main goal for the unit is to be named “National Unit of the Year” and to move the unit’s drill location to an Army Base near its current location, Camp Atterbury. He also plans to start a marksmanship team.

“We already have been given a grant from the state of Indiana National Rifle Association (NRA) to purchase .22 rifles and pistols, as well as hearing and eye protection and cases for the weapons and ammunition,” Riley said. “One of our staff members is trained as a marksmanship instructor and Range Safety Officer.”

Riley was an active duty Marine from 1992 to 1999. He was stationed in Beaufort, SC, as part of the Marine Fighter Attack Squadraon-115 (VMFA-115) and Quantico, VA, first with Headquarters and Service Battalion (H&S Battalion). Then he transferred to Special Purpose Marine Air Group Task Force (Experimental) (SPMAGTF(X) which was part of the Commandant of the Marines Corps Warfighting Laboratory. 

The Young Marines organization is divided into six divisions across the United States. Each Young Marine unit is led and guided by adult volunteers, some of whom have had careers in the military. There are nearly 3,000 active and registered adult volunteers with The Young Marines.

Annually, one adult volunteer is selected from each division. From these six winners, one – Scott Riley - is named the official “National Adult Volunteer of the Year.”

Other division winners are:

  • Division 1 – Aimee Fagan, Blackstone Valley Young Marines, MA
  • Division 2 – Adam Ridgeway, Maryland Regiment Young Marines, MD
  • Division 3 – Dana Cozzens, Swansboro Young Marines, NC
  • Division 4 – Altrice Taylor, Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Unit 3, LA 
  • Division 6 – Brian R. Hildebrant, Lewis & Clark Young Marines, WA

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 11,000 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 the official website at:


Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or