From National Young Marine of the Year
 YM SgtMaj Dakota Richter, Northern KY Young Marines

Young Marine Volunteer Appreciation month was initiated in an effort to allow us Young Marines to take a moment to express our gratitude towards this program’s most dedicated volunteers, our Unit Adult Staff. Regardless if they have ever served in the military, had kids in the program, or called themselves a Young Marine, these individuals are so often the backbone of our success as members of this program. Whether you called them UC, XO, Ma’am, Sir, or your second parents, I’d venture to say that every one of us can think of at least one Registered Adult that has forever impacted our lives.

It’s sometimes difficult to be an Adult Leader in a youth-led program. It seems to me, at least from this side of the fence, that we Young Marines are entitled to the more enjoyable things this program has to offer - things that don’t include filing quarterly reports, sleeping in cars on encampments (and if you’re in luck, sneaking you a s’more or two on fire watch), or silently observing from the back of the classroom drill after drill after drill. Our Adult Leaders work around the clock to keep us safe, signed-off, and well fed; and for that, they deserve our gratitude. As Young Marines, let’s take this month to express to our volunteers just how much they mean to us, our units, and the program. I can guarantee they don’t hear that enough.

So to all of the Adult Leaders in Northern Kentucky, my second, third, and fourth families across the country, and every other Registered Adult who has dedicated portions of their life to our program, I sincerely thank you for the hundreds of lives you have and will continue to positively impact.

Happy Young Marines Volunteer
Appreciation Month 

Dakota Richter
National Young Marine of the Year, 2013-2014


The NYMOY with Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Huff, two of her most inspiring mentors, at the 2013 National Leadership Academy