WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Department of Defense selected the Miami Valley Young Marines from Huber Heights as this year’s winner of the Fulcrum Shield. The award was presented Thursday, Oct. 17, at a special ceremony in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
The award is given annually by the Department of Defense and recognizes military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made intensive efforts at spreading anti-drug messages in local communities.
This is the second time Miami Valley Young Marines has won this prestigious award and the 10th win for the Young Marines program.
“It has been a busy yet rewarding year for our Young Marines,” said J. Keagan Miller, unit commander of the Miami Valley Young Marines. “It is exciting to see them interact with all of the local law enforcement and other drug prevention organizations throughout the Miami Valley.
“We are thankful for all of the community support we have garnered over the past few years which, without their assistance, none of this would be possible,” he said.
In 2014, the Young Marines unveiled “Closing the Gate on Drugs” on a national scale. It consists of lessons that help young people learn and practice new skills and strategies for resisting the gateway drugs. These “gateway drugs” include tobacco, alcohol, inhalant abuse, marijuana and over the counter or prescription medication.
“We are extremely proud of Miami Valley Young Marines for their remarkable efforts in educating the local community the dangers of drugs,” said Col. William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Their message reached thousands of adults and youth and made a real impact that extends beyond just our members. The engagement by the Young Marines and the interaction with so many community element and leaders really was fantastic.”
The Miami Valley Young Marines was founded in 1998 as the Dayton Young Marines. The name was changed in 2003 to encompass communities in all 13 counties in the Miami Valley area. The unit has 30 youth members and 12 registered adult leaders.
Recent awards received by the Miami Valley Young Marines:
• Fulcrum Shield Award by the DoD (2017)
• Division Unit of the Year (2006, 2018, 2019)
• Division Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Award (2017, 2019)
• Distinguished Unit Citation (2005, 2015, 2018, 2019)
• Marine Corps League Unit Commendation (2006, 2017)
• Regimental Unit of the Year (2017)
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 264 units with 8,500 youth and 2,500 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.YoungMarines.com or the Miami Valley Young Marines at https://miamivalleyyoungmarines.com/.