The 2018 Boot Camp for the Capital Area Young Marines of Austin, Texas saw a fine crop of recruits through the standard training. There were multiple hours of class time, drills, physical fitness training, an obstacle course, and what to them seemed like forty days of marching. But, despite a few tears of anxiety, a turned ankle, and a pulled muscle or two, every last one of them came through with flying colors.
Much of the credit for the success of this camp, goes to our latest crop of Young Marine NCO's. Each of them has achieved their current rank, by working hard to overcome the personal challenges and occasional attitude struggles. We know how teens can be and these teens handled the stress of running the camp with a clear and present unity of purpose. The senior youth did a fine job of essentially running the camp as adult staff stood in advisory and support positions for them.
The Capital Area Young Marines continues to do what it takes to create the leaders of the future. And this batch of recruits, who have now earned the title Young Marine, are shining examples of the strength, courage, and spirit that will drive the future.
This Boot Camp was also a test for incoming adult leaders. Several of our adult volunteers, were prepared by the current staff, to take on new responsibilities as the unit undergoes a shift in leadership. We will miss the outgoing leaders, but I believe that the transitions coming will be smooth.
We adult leaders are dedicated to carrying on the traditions and honoring the strong guidance of the outgoing staff. This was a fantastic Boot Camp to be the first in that transition, because our stellar Young Marines made it so.
This was one of our strongest classes of graduates to date. The final scores on all tests were such that only a few points separated the top dogs from the rest of the pack. I was deeply encouraged by the willingness of the older recruits to assist our "smurfs" with some of the more difficult tasks. I also saw the growth in each of our youth, as they overcame challenges in both the physical tasks and the academics.
Our top graduates:
L. Bevins, (Honor Graduate/PFC)
K. Fernandez, (Meritorious promotion/ PFC)
J. McClure, (Top 3 of Class)
C. Garza, (Iron Mike Award for PFT)
A. Martinez (Molly Marine and Highest overall PFT)