Twenty-seven youngsters aged 8 – 17 can now call themselves Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines as Class 35 graduated earlier this week in a ceremony at the Viking Drive Substation.
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington encouraged the boys and girls to keep striving for success. “Now you have the tools you need to be successful,” he said, “and now it’s up to you whether or not you are going to use them.”
Lt. Col. Chris Cain, commander of the 96th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, was the guest speaker. He spoke to the young people to keep moving forward, because life is not built on “instant success, but sustained tenacity and your reaction and correction to all the setbacks and disappointments along the way.”
The graduating recruits completed a two-week indoctrination and training schedule that included leadership skills, physical training, teamwork, discipline, and confidence-building skills. The program instills the Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment and promotes a healthy drug-free lifestyle.
Awards and promotions were presented to:
- Dawson Beard – Floyd L. Baxter Award for Leadership, presented by Marine MSgt. (Ret.) Bill Braidwood with the Red River Detachment of the Marine Corps League.
- Layne Henderson – Honor Graduate Award
- Matthew Hill, Jr. – Junior PRT Award
- DeMarria Evans – Senior PRT Award
- Layne Henderson – Senior PRT Award
- Dawson Beard – promoted to private first class
- Layne Henderson – promoted to private first class
- Matthew McDaniel – promoted to private first class
Graduates of Class 35 of the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines are:
- Braxton Aycock
- Bradley Baker
- Dawson Beard
- DeAndre Below
- London Brown
- Nicholas Brown
- Kristian Campbell
- Mason Colley
- O’Merion Edwards
- Orianna Edwards
- Marina Elkins
- DeMarria Evans
- Madalyn English
- John Good
- Hayden Guzman
- Layne Henderson
- Matthew Hill Jr.
- Isaiah Johnson
- Ryan Johnson
- Joseph McCalphin II
- Jacob McDaniel
- Matthew McDaniel
- Shaylyn Owens
- Michael Rachal
- Lanagan Tyner
- Nevaeh Williams
- Josiah Young
The Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines is sponsored and administered by Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington and is commanded by former Marine Deputy Lex Webb. Instructors include Deputies Tim Burr, Matthew Guerrero, Rebecca Russom and Judy 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.
To find out more about the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines program, call 318-965-3500, go online at www.bossiersheriff.com or visit the Viking Drive Substation at 2510 Viking Drive in Bossier City.