Young Marines shine as they particpate in drill competition

Camp White Young Marines in first competitive drill.
Camp White Young Marines in first competitive drill.

They billed it as the first annual Young Marine Battalion Drill competition.
On March 21, the Camp White unit of Young Marines hosted the event that drew an estimated 160 participants from various geographical areas. Some competitors had traveled to White City’s V.A. Clinics from Eugene,  Merlin, Roseburg, Medford, and  Grants Pass. A sixth unit, the Young Marines from Linn/Benton Counties sent regrets; prior scheduling commitments prevented their attendance.

Young Marines may begin boot camp at age eight, and may qualify to
remain in their units until age eighteen, or high school
Presentation of the Colors launched March
21st’s activities before an  enthusiastic crowd of volunteers and
family members. Among them, Lt. Commander John Howard, Veterans’
Representative at Congressman Walden’s office, said he’d turned out to
root for his grandson, a Young Marine.
Mollie Salazar
beamed, and explained, "I volunteered to help today because my
eleven-year-old daughter, Lexie is also a Young Marine."
Parent/volunteer Linda’s Kristich cheered fourteen-year-old Corporal James Kristich who’d delivered the invocation.
Commander Celeste Guillory introduced the team of evaluators. Chosen
for their neutrality in the task were five red-jacketed officials from
the Rogue Valley Marine Corps League. They initiated the competition by
walking through the ranks of camouflage-clad youth braced for uniform
"Good morning, Private," said evaluator Bert
Planette, Jr. He viewed the youth’s impeccably polished boots, and
well-pressed collar. "How long have you been a Young Marine?"
    The teen glanced left in search of an accurate reply. "One year, Sir." 
    Planette grinned. "Don’t be afraid to look your inspector in the eye when you talk to him." 
That phase of the contest continued for about thirty minutes. Other
components followed, involving guide-on, (flag-bearers’ routines),
close-order drills, color guard precision, parade-style marching, and
flag folding. Units received points as they vied for the coveted
traveling trophy. "The winners will hold onto it until encampment time
this summer," said Battalion Commander Guillory, who lives in Grants
Pass. Her spouse, retired  Marine Corps officer Tony Guillory, now
serves as Northwest Regiment Commander for the Young Marines.
a barbeque lunch provided by the hosts, and potluck above the bowling
alley, the awards ceremony began. According to Public Relations
Director Leslie Voelkel, congratulations upon taking the first-place
trophy belonged to the Emerald Empire Young Marines from Eugene.
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent   

Speak Your Mind