Rutherford County Young Marines Attend Leadership School


Tennessee Regiment Young Marines held their Leadership school at the Volunteer Training Site in Smyrna, TN. Seventeen Young Marine Units from 11 different states attended. There were 16 students attending Senior Leadership School (SLS), 34 attending Junior Leadership School (JLS), 13 Cadre and 10 Adult Volunteers.

Rutherford County Young Marines (RCYM) had three young marines attending JLS: YM LCPL William Cameron, YM CPL Maria Bello, and YM LCPL Ashton Little. YM SGT Christopher Torres & YM SGT Vanessa Torres attended SLS. YM GySgt Cameron Robinson was one of the Cadres and received his promotion from YM SSgt to YM GySgt.


JLS helps prepare YM Lance Corporals and YM Corporals to take on more advance leadership roles in their unit, schools and communities. The students in JLS honed their leadership skills, perfect drill movements, and pass a physical fitness test (PFT).

SLS prepares YM Sergeants and YM Staff Sergeants to further advance their leadership skills. They learn to conduct close order drill, physical training, improve interpersonal skills, study ethics, and becoming more aware to the needs of others. They also have to pass a PFT. YM SGT Vanessa Torres earned the Molly Marine award for having the highest score on the PFT for females in SLS.

The classes were taught by the Cadres, which are Young Marines who have previously completed senior leadership school or higher. These classes included going over billeted positions, leadership skills, citizenship, public speaking, appropriate use of technology, close order drill, and more.

The YM also had a Q&A session with the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464. Sgt Hudson, from the reserve center, gave a talk on setting goals and staying motivated. The YMs also had a pool party and the week ended with a graduation ceremony. The YM then return to their unit with their new knowledge and the ability to train the other Young Marines.

“During my time at SLS, we did many things and I learned so much as a leader. I plan to take that knowledge back to my unit and encourage my fellow Young Marines to get where I am and further. I also had lots of fun and met numerous outstanding Young Marines. We performed fun and cool little ditties, ate delicious chow, and learned ways to improve as a leader. Some of the things we learned include encampment planning, map and compass, being a decisive leader, close order drill, dimensions of leadership, and group development. I was awarded Molly Marine as I had the highest PFT score out of all my fellow females in SLS. Although it was very fun and knowledgeable, it did have to come to an end, as it was only a week-long. It was an incredibly outstanding week and I plan to take everything I’ve learned and not only use it in the Young Marines but in my daily life as well.” YM SGT Vanessa Torres

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines’ humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 275 units with 9,000 youth and 2,760 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

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