Young Marines Program Shapes Future Leaders

Military Appreciation Day at the State Fair.

The Young Marines organization in Milford is helping students from the ages of 8 to 18 develop the skills of self discipline, leadership and public speaking through educational programs and community service. The Young Marines is a not-for-profit organization for boys and girls in Middle School and High School that teaches students U.S. history, survival skills and respect for American traditions in order to provide the community with “responsible citizens who enjoy, and promote, a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. “

Advocates of the program Tammy and Thomas Beenick hold monthly meetings at the American Legion on Rehoboth Boulevard in Milford. The Beenick household is a military family with Thomas serving active duty in the United States Navy for 5 ½ years and 6 years as a reserve. The Beenick’s got involved with the program to help youth in the Milford area find positive outlets during their adolescent years.

“We have had kids come in with no structure but when they leave this program they have shown so much improvement,” commented Tammy Beenick. “It really is a place where kids who feel like they don’t belong to any group can feel that sense of belonging and start to build confidence.”

The Young Marines in Milford provides children with a fun alternative that promotes getting involved in their community. New recruits will go through an orientation known as boot camp where they learn U.S history, physical fitness, how to march and take 3 hours of Drug Demand Reduction training.

“They have a lot of fun learning these things and that is what really keeps them involved,” stated Mrs. Beenick.

The children that pass all of the boot camp requirements will graduate as a Private Young Marine and a few will receive the award of Honor Recruit for demonstrating a high level of understanding of the Young Marine principles of honor, courage and commitment. The students who reach senior rank in the Young Marines will receive an additional ranking if they choose a career in the U.S. military.

Although the Young Marines is the U.S. Marine Corps’ official focal program to the Department of Defense, the Young Marines is not a recruiting force for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Young Marines program offers scholarships for students that plan to further themselves through higher education, no matter where that path begins.

“We encourage all of the Young Marines to pursue what they want to do after they graduate,” commented Mrs. Beenick. “Whether they want to go to school, join the military or work, this program will give them the skills they need to succeed.”

Tammy and Thomas Beenick encourage all kids to become Young Marines and state that the program teaches them “how to prepare for life while having fun doing it.” Parents and students can find out more about the local Young Marines program at or contact Tammy Beenick at 302-265-2789 or