Frequently Asked Questions about the Young Marines
- Do the Young Marines assist in recruitment for the Marine Corps?
- What age must my child be in order to join the Young Marines?
- Are gifts to the Young Marines tax deductible?
- Who is R. Lee Ermey?
- Who is Chester?
- What is Young Marines Veterans Appreciation Week?
- Are there fees associated with becoming a Young Marine?
- Are the Young Marines covered by insurance during Young Marine activities?
- My child is not in good physical condition, will the program be too physically challenging?
- Is participation in the Young Marines court mandated?
3. Are gifts to the Young Marines tax deductible?
Yes, the Young Marines is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and gifts to the Young Marines are tax deductible. If you are interested in learning about way to support our unit of the Young Marines, please visit our Support Us page.
4. Who is R. Lee Ermey?
The Young Marines are honored to have R. Lee Ermey as their official celebrity spokesperson. Mr. Ermey garnered worldwide acclaim for his portrayal of Marine Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrik’s film Full Metal Jacket (1987). Ermey has been in scores of other movies and was the popular host of the History Channel’s hit show, “Mail Call.” Visit Mr. Ermey's IMDB page.
Young Marine from Lt Alexander Bonnyman Unit
with R. Lee Ermey at the Adult Leader Conference
5. Who is Chester?
Chester, the puppy bulldog, is the Young Marines official mascot. Chester enjoys all the benefits of Young Marine membership such as the opportunity to earn rank and ribbons, wear the Young Marine uniform, and a free subscription to the Young Marine Esprit magazine. Chester sometimes even makes guest appearances at unit meetings, graduations, and training conferences.
6. What is Young Marines Veterans Appreciation Week?
For one week in November each year, Young Marine units across the country celebrate Young Marines Veterans Appreciation Week (YMVAW). The purpose of the campaign is to challenge our Young Marines to dedicate some of their time to help our nation’s veterans and to demonstrate, through their actions, their sincere appreciation for our veterans’ service to our country. Unit projects include such actions as sending thank you cards to hospitalized veterans, cleaning up a disabled veterans yard, visiting veterans in the hospital, or simply setting up a community function to socialize with local veterans.
7. Are there fees associated with becoming a Young Marine?
Yes, but costs are kept relatively low because the units conduct various fund-raising activities throughout the year and also receive some donations from the Marine Corps League and other organizations and individuals. Costs will be detailed during the Parent Orientation Meeting.
8. Are the Young Marines covered by insurance during Young Marine activities?
Young Marines are covered by a group accident insurance policy while traveling to and from Young Marine activities as well as while they are engaged in those activities. The cost for this insurance is $20.00 per year.
9. My child is not in good physical condition, will the program be too physically challenging?
In recruit training each child will take an inventory physical fitness test and will then be expected to improve his or her performance. Physical fitness training will be included in almost every Young Marine activity and the Young Marines are required to take physical fitness tests twice per year. Some national training programs require minimum physical fitness test scores to ensure that participants are in top physical condition, participation in these programs is not mandatory.