Young Marine Program to Include Special Needs Youth




New York, NY (Law Firm Newswire) August 24, 2012 – This summer, six students graduated from The Young Marines of Central Maryland, an education program that introduces military structure and principles to students via a classroom setting.

Krooks 2011

Littman Krooks Founding Partner, Bernard A Krooks

The graduates were from the Krieger Kennedy unit in Baltimore, Maryland, the only chapter of the Young Marines in the country comprised of middle and high school students with special needs.

There are 24 students in the Young Marine program at Kennedy Krieger High School with a range of intellectual and/or physical disabilities, including autism, Down Syndrome and brain injuries. The standard lessons have been modified for the group to meet every student’s learning level; they learn about the military, they work together as a unit to complete service projects, and they are instructed in the program tenets of character building, discipline and leadership.

All of the Young Marine units are overseen by either active duty, former, retired or reserve Marines. At Kennedy Krieger, the group is overseen by an Iraqi war veteran. The Marine youth members attend a 26-hour orientation program known as Boot Camp where they learn about history, customs and courtesies, physical fitness and military rank structure. Upon completion of Boot Camp, members can work on skills and earn achievement ribbons for academic excellence, community service, first aid, and leadership.

The Young Marines curriculum emphasizes character and service. The Kennedy Krieger High unit works together on community projects including assembling and sending care packages to troops, visiting veteran’s hospitals, collecting toys for needy children and marching in parades and color guard ceremonies.

The Young Marines began in 1958 with a single unit. It now has more than 300 units with 10,000 members, as well as 3,000 adult volunteers, with active groups in 46 states, the District of Columbia and internationally. The Young Marines is the flagship program for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Youth Drug Demand Reduction efforts.

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