FRIDAY FOCUS: Southern Maryland Young Marines

Strength. Confidence. Leadership. These are the characteristics that the Southern Maryland Young Marine organization strives to instill in girls and boys from 8 – 18. They work to provide a positive impact on America’s future through developing programs, education and a healthy environment for today’s youth to participate in together. In this week’s Friday Focus, we caught up with Unit Commander, Rob Willis, to learn all about Southern Maryland Young Marines and how they are making a difference in the lives of America’s youth. Southern Maryland Young Marines, provides a great opportunity toym_logoprimary_nyo volunteer, or introduce your child into an organization that prepares them for adulthood.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: The Young Marines strengthens the lives of America’s youth by teaching the importance of self-confidence, academic achievement, honoring our veterans, good citizenship, community service and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building and leadership and promotes a lifestyle that is conducive to being productive members of society.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: Our organization is committed to the Young Marine Core values of Leadership, Discipline and Teamwork. Our commitment to these values has resulted in the unit completing over 5,000 hours of community service hours since our inception.  Additionally, every member of our unit maintains proficiency in Drug Demand Reduction Training throughout the year.  Many of our leaders also serve as role models and peer-advisors in their schools and communities.

Our Program prides itself on letting the Young Marines actually lead. The Registered Adults serve s coaches and mentors, but it is the Young Marines who do all of the planning, scheduling and execution of Drill meetings, Community Service Events, Encampments and trips. Some of our Young Marines have even served on Division-Level staffs, earning high praise from Division leaders!

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: As an organization that includes young men and women ages 8-18, we are challenged to continually look for activities that appeal to members in various age groups. Our Young Marines and Adult Staff do a great job of making training relevant to each Young Marine, regardless of age and experience.

 Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: This is an extremely busy time of the year for us. Our unit will commit approximately 100 hours of service to veterans over Veteran’s Day.  As we close out the year, we will be actively involved in Toys for Tots collection and distribution in St. Mary’s and Calvert County.  You will definitely see us around!

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: For more information on getting involved with the Young Marines, visit Southern Maryland Young Marines, contact Mr. Willis at 240-577-1489 or email

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