From National Young Marine of the Year 2015-2016
YM SgtMaj Lucas Ward, Midwest Central YM
I am truly honored and humbled to serve as the National Young Marine of the Year for 2015-2016. Often in my Young Marine career I have been looked to as a leader, but to me the truest job of a leader is to serve. This is why my primary goal is to serve and represent the Young Marine organization and its members in the best way possible. The best way that I know to do this by simply reaching out and talking to our Young Marines and Registered Adults and ensure their voices and opinions are heard.
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to work with and personally get to know over 500 Young Marines at the National Leadership Academy in Astoria, OR and the National Encampment in Paisley, FL. I spoke with Young Marines of all ages and ranks from every corner of the nation. In a short amount of time, I have learned more than I ever imagined I could from these outstanding young people, and I feel these experiences have helped me prepare to make positive change on the national level of the organization.
As we move into a new era with a new National Executive Director and many new expansions, we also move into a unique period of advancement in Young Marines. There has never been a better time to be a Young Marine, and I am proud to be able to call myself one. As we move into an era of challenges and opportunities unlike any we have seen before, it comforts me to know that I am surrounded by thousands of Young Marines that are willing and capable of growing this organization into all that it can be.
My close friends and peers, the Division Young Marines of the Year, are all chomping at the bit to work together again for the betterment of the organization. When the top ten graduates from Advanced Leadership School are added in, they are a force to be reckoned with and I am grateful to lead such a strong team into our leadership symposium this coming October, where we will brainstorm and form ideas that will help lead the orginization into the future.
With all the amazing Young Marines and Registered Adults involved, I am confident that the Young Marines will continue to grow and prosper as we work together to strengthen the lives of America’s youth.
National Young Marine of the Year 2015-2016
Midwest Central Young Marines