Twenty-five boys and girls earned to right to be called Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines following a graduation ceremony last week for Class 36 at the Viking Drive Substation in Bossier City that culminated two weeks of indoctrination training.
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington oversees the youth program that teaches leadership skills, physical training, teamwork, discipline and confidence-building skills. The program also instills the Marine Corps values of honor, courage, and commitment, and promotes a healthy drug-free lifestyle.
“I am thrilled to see these young folks make a commitment to the Young Marines program,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “The skills and discipline they learn here will help them develop into the future leaders of tomorrow…they are problems-solvers and team builders, and these are traits will carry them well in life.”
The average age of the graduates was 11 years of age, ranging from age 8 to 17 year old. The honor graduate was Christian Mattson, 17; he was also meritoriously promoted the private first class. The Iron Mike Marine Award was presented to Brysan Rahcal, 11, for being the boy with the most military bearing during the training, and the Molly Marine Award was presented to Remie Hodges, 11, for being the most motivated female.
Christian Montes, 9, and Jaxon Graham, 12, received the Physical Fitness Award for earning a perfect score on the test, while Elijah Lipsey, 8, received the Motivation Award.
Retired Marine Lt. Col. Mike Thornton of the Marine Corps League Detachment #875 presented the Floyd L. Baxter Leadership Award to Cameron Cole, 12.
Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines Class 36 graduates were: Jeremiah Blaze, Cameron Cole, Matthew Cole, Cameron Dauzat, Cameron Duke, Cozy Graham, Jaxon Graham, Remie Hodges, Phillip Hughes, Michael Lawrence, Elijah Lipsey, Tyler Matthews, Alexander Matthews, Christian Mattson, Christian Montes, Ernesto Montes, John Ochoa, Angel Ochoa, Tyler Ortiz, Tereesa Price, Brysan Rahcal, Keegan Schuster, Juan Vargas, Beaux Williams, and Sarah Williams.
The Young Marines program is a national program founded in 1958 and is the official youth program of the United States Marine Corps. More than 1,200 young men and women have graduated from the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines program since its inception here in 2002.
The Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines is sponsored and administered by Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington and is commanded by Deputy Lex Webb. Staff members include Deputies Craig Oberlander, Matt Guerrero, Rebecca Russom, and Marissa Townsend.
To find out more about the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines program, call 965-3500, go online at www.bossiersheriff.com or visit the Viking Drive Substation at 2510 Viking Drive in Bossier City.
See a gallery below (all photos courtesy of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office):