Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46• From our National Executive Director Welcome to what is arguably the most excit- ing edition of Esprit each year, the issue where we announce our National awardees for unit and volunteer of the year, as well as our most prestigious Young Marine honor, the National Young Marine of the Year. It has been another busy spring across the Young Marines organi- zation. I am consistently impressed with the articles sent in from all of our six divisions, and I am proud and humbled by the work you are doing across our country. It’s been a few weeks since our group returned from the Reunion of Honor trip to Guam and Iwo Jima. Young Marine leaders enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with veterans of this historic series of battles and walk the sands of Iwo Jima for themselves. Each and every one of us left with a profound sense of what it took to be part of this battle. While our group hiked the 4.2 miles from the flight line to the top of Mount Suribachi, we knew that our journey was easy compared to theirs. My hope is that each of you strives to compete for Young Marine of the Year or submit essays for the Jimmy Trimble scholarship to join me next year - the experi- ence is priceless. From Guam, it seems like we went right into our Adult Leadership Conference for 3 days of education and motivation. We kicked things off with a special welcome back to our own Young Marines’ mascot, Chester! Chester was warmly welcomed by all of the adults, alumni, and Young Marines. He made several appear- ances during the conference, and even came out to say goodbye to folks as they departed. Keep an eye out for Chester at events this year; he is back and ready to rock. The key audience of the event, however, are the Adult Volunteer Leaders, who spent long hours shar- ing ideas, information and best practices. I know you will be excited to see all the things we have in store in the coming months. The highlight of the ALC is always the awards banquet. Special thanks to this year’s Guest Speaker, 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, SgtMaj Micheal P. Barrett USMC (Ret). You had a chance to see all the great units, volunteers, and Division Young Marines of the Year in the last issue. From an insider perspec- tive, let me tell you something brutally honest: it was extremely difficult to select the win- ners from all of these great units and people, especially considering that all of them work so hard to make the Young Marines truly awe- some in every way. The winners are all listed inside. The competition for National Young Marine of the Year was as keen and intense as ever, and while the entire selection board was impressed with all of these outstanding young men and women, only one could be selected. As most of you already know, your new National Young Marine of the Year is YM/ SgtMaj Joseph Bacon. I have had the pleasure of meeting with him several times, and I am confident that he will represent you well. Summer will be here by the time this issue is published. I ask that all of you be extra careful as the temperature begins to rise. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and be safe throughout all of your summer adventures. NYMOY Bacon and I look forward to seeing many of you this summer at National and Regional events, beginning with the National Leadership Academy. As your experiences turn into memories, keep in mind that Esprit is always looking for more articles. We are expanding the magazine online to include more articles than what we can put into print, and I want to share as many of your stories as I can with the world. I hope you all get a chance to do something truly adventurous nationally or in your own region, with your fellow Young Marines. With that, time for you to read up and enjoy this issue. Stay motivated, stay engaged, and keep living a healthy, drug-free life! Col Bill Davis, USMC (Ret) National Executive Director, Young Marines of the Marine Corps League, Inc Follow us on Facebook and our national homepage ESPRIT ONLINE | Page 2