YM/PFC DominIc austin, written 2019
My name is YM/PFC Dominic Austin, and this is my first year with Capital City Young Marines in Raleigh, NC. August 13, 2018 is when I began my Young Marine adventure. My recruit class had 10 kids about the same age as me. Every Monday, for 13 weeks we had recruit training. During recruit training we learned what discipline, leadership and teamwork meant as well as military drill, PT skills, marching movements-commands. It was hard for me in the beginning because I wasn’t used to this type of training. In time because of my recruit instructor, Sgt Lana Swanson and the other recruits I overcame my fears, became much stronger and more confident. The last week of recruit training was a weekend encampment which was very important for graduation. During the encampment, my very first ever, I learned a lot of things such as: how to make a fire, setup tents, run an obstacles course, early morning PT and how to wear your uniform. The best part of the encampment was the yummy food prepared by our RAs. I will always remember October 13, 2018 because of the encampment.
On October 20th, 2018 we celebrated the 53rd Young Marine Birthday Ball. Following that special event, on October 22nd 2018 we had our recruit class graduation ceremony. We were promoted from recruit to Young Marine Private at the completion of the ceremony. A special part of the ceremony occurred when the senior Young Marines helped us blouse our boots and unbutton the top button of our Cammies. This officially completed our transition from recruit to Young Marine. It was at that moment that I realized that all of us were wearing the same uniform. We were FINALLY all the same!
Our unit has participated in lots of special events. In November we marched in the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Raleigh, attended the celebration of 369th Infantry Regiment, the 15th NY National Guard Regiment, and marched in the Holly Springs Christmas Parade. On December 8, we remembered our fallen veterans by laying wreaths at the cemetery. In February Capital City presented a color guard for the Firebirds ,a professional basketball team in Raleigh.
On March 18 I received a promotion to Young Marine PFC.I am currently working towards the following ribbons: the Achievement ribbon, Basic Ribbon, Basic First Aid, Drug Demand Reduction, Musician, Community Services, Marksmanship, Physical Fitness, and Veterans Appreciation.
On April 26 of this year the our unit held another encampment for the newest recruit class. This encampment was filled with adventure. We went on a field trip to an air show and later in the day, we built a huge camp fire. Being a Young Marine means learning discipline, leadership, and teamwork but I also love the fun we have on our trips. In August we went to Roan Mountain TN which for me, was one of the best trips so far. Some of the best parts of the trip were horseback riding, hiking to Grassy Ridge Bald top and to Hebron Colony water falls.
During my first year I completed more than 75 hours of community service. I enjoy doing community service because I love giving back to the community and helping people in need, without expecting anything in return. I want to make a difference in the community I live in and I want people to know more about Young Marines. So far I have had a great year in the Young Marine program. I am hopeful that more children will join the program like I did. I will do my best to live by the Young Marine Core values, set an example for my fellow Young Marines and the people from my community. I am proud to have completed my training and to be a part of my unit. My skills and my knowledge will bring improvement to my unit. My journey, as well as the fun continues.....
**This Young Marine has since been promoted to YM/Sgt
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