a young marine's journey
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
Camradery in roan mountain
YM/Sgt Elijah J. Lapinskes written 10/2/19
On August 9, 2019 our unit, Capital City Young Marines traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and spent a weekend having tons of fun. We camped at Roan Mountain State Park, TN and hiked the beautiful area. We rode horses and visited the Hebron Rock Colony falls. While traveling in and out of North Carolina and Tennessee we had plenty of time on the road, in our van or “toaster” as we called it. We had plenty of opportunities to talk and get to know each other better. The mountains offered up lots of good views and prompted us to stop talking and enjoy where we were.
We concluded the fantastic trip with a four hour drive back to Raleigh, filled with singing. Though the singing was sometimes intolerable, it brought us together. It gave us the comradery that makes us Capital City Young Marines, whether participating in a parade, doing PT, or when we're just riding in the “toaster”. The life lasting friendships Young Marines offers is second to none. I can truly say I am as proud as anyone to be a part of my unit and The Young Marines.
YM/LCpl nadia hinton, written 2019
I recently participated in a camping trip to Roan Mountain, TN with my unit, Capital City Young Marines, and it was incredible. On the first day, we drove for about four and a half hours, and we did lots of fun things along the way.. When we arrived, we set up our tents and unpacked our gear.
The next morning after we got up, we separated the younger and older kids and we went horse-back riding. This was my favorite part. We made leather necklaces and horseshoes with our initials hammered in. Riding the horses was entertaining. My horse’s name was Nala and she was a bit skittish at first, but she warmed up to me. Next, we went to Bob’s Dairyland and had a burger. Later, we went back to our campsite and got ready to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I learned how to make a rope from straw. My rope was considerably long. When we got to the top of a mountain we did sit-spots, meaning we selected a set spot where we sat and reflected on our time there. After hiking , we went back to our campsite, had chow, then we hit the hay.
On our last day, we got up, had morning chow, then we put on our swimsuits. After hiking up the mountain a bit, we arrived at Hebron Falls. We split into our squads and were allowed to climb around on the rocks and sit in the water. Afterwards, we walked back to the head, where we changed back into our regular gear, got back into the van and headed back down the mountain for afternoon chow, then we headed back home. Roan Mountain has been my favorite trip so far during my Young Marines career.
YM/lCpl austin, 9/2/2020
I am LCpl Dominic Austin of Capital City Young Marines in Raleigh, NC. I would like to share my experience in Junior Leadership School for July 2020 with Division 2 North Carolina Regiment, in Asheboro NC.
The fun part about this “camp “ is that each Young Marine had to sleep in an individual tent without sharing it with any other. The JLS staff members made the classroom time super fun, even though the PT time during the scorching temperatures was hard to endure. Because of Covid , the staff had to check our temperatures 3 times per day and wear masks all the time to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy.
Every day we had to be up at 7:00am and lights out at 10:00pm. After each breakfast (chow) we had class until dinner time, but with lunch break. Monday and Thursday we had PT tests. During the daily classes we learned about physical fitness and its components.
We learned about the 11 principles of leadership and what each of them means:
-know yourself and seek improvement
-be technically and tactically proficient
-know your Young Marines and look after their welfare
-keep your Young Marines informed
-set an example
-ensure the task is understood and supervised throughout completion
-train your Young Marines as a team
-make sound and timely decisions
-develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates
-employ your command in accordance with its capabilities
-take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your Young Marines.
We also learned about the steps to write and perform public speeches, we talked in detail about each Young Marine rank as well as the duties and responsibilities of adult staff and what each billet does/represents.
We learned essential subjects and important Young Marine facts, about the qualities of a leader and 14 leadership traits. My favorite parts of the class were learning how to tie knots, how to use a map and compass and lastly about citizenship attributions. While I was there we did an amazing activity with learning the map and compass. We were given a card and we had to follow 3 points to get to our final destination.
During the week we had multiple tests on a variety of subjects such as: public speaking , drill, and physical fitness. We also had some written tests. On Friday we had uniform inspection so we could get ready for Graduation day. On Saturday, graduation day, we each got our certificates for completing JLS. I had a great time while I was there and I made a lot of new friends with the other Young Marines from different units.
JLS taught me how to become a better leader and I think this would be a great opportunity for other Young Marines to go through as well. I thank the school director , Mr. Greg Ross, and all the staff members for the opportunity and for teaching us great and amazing things.
Our articles are written by real Capital City Young Marines, for Young Marines!