Upstate Young Marines…Serving our community

The Young Marines, a national youth organization, provides a program for boys and girls age eight through high school, focused on leadership, citizenship through community service, self-discipline, and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The organization upholds the Marine Corps’ core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment as well as the Young Marines’ core values of Leadership, Discipline and Teamwork.

Individual units are led by dedicated adult volunteers. The Young Marines’ commitment and work to develop the next generation of leaders continues as it strives to meet its vision to be the best led and managed nonprofit in America and the nation’s premier youth development program. Upstate Young Marines received their charter back in Feb 2004.

Upstate Young Marines at Simpsonville Memorial Day event
L/R YM PFC Lupu, on the right is YM Ssgt Draper,
the little guy in the middle
is YM Pvt Mitchell

They are 3 Young Marine Units in the state of South Carolina. The Upstate Young Marines, Electric City Young Marines and Parris Island Young Marines. Our very own Upstate Young Marines are here in Greenville SC. The Unit usually meets at the Navy Marine Reserve Center, but because the COVID the Young Marines had to find a new location, the Renovation Church in Simpsonville has opened its doors to the Unit to hold their meeting in their gym. The unit meets at least twice a month. Retired Marine Sergeant Major James Roberts is the Unit Commander for this organization. Retiring after 30 years of service in 2010, he started volunteering with the Young Marines. Upstate has 15 adult volunteers, 5 has military backgrounds.

Local Unit Activities

Upon joining a local Young Marines unit, recruits undergo a 26-hour orientation program, sometimes spread out over several weekly meetings and sometimes over the course of a weekend. Youth members learn general subjects such as history, customs and courtesies, close order drill, physical fitness, and military rank structure.

After graduating from Young Marines Recruit Training, Young Marines learn even more new skills, earn rank, wear the Young Marines uniform and work toward ribbon awards. Young Marines earn ribbons for achievement in areas such as leadership, community service, swimming, academic excellence, first aid, and drug resistance education.


The Young Marines program encourages unit participation in local civic activities, such as providing color guards for athletic events, marching in local parades and activities promoting and reinforcing good citizenship.

Honoring Veterans

Year round, Young Marines show deep devotion to military veterans from any era and from any branch of service. In addition, Young Marines participates in Veterans Appreciation Week, a campaign that challenges our youth members to dedicate time to show our country’s appreciation and help our nation’s veterans in their local communities.

Our Mission: The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America’s future by providing quality youth development program for boys and girls that nurture and develop its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Vision: To earn and preserve a reputation as the premier leader in youth development and drug demand reduction.

Motto: Strengthening the lives of America’s youth Leadership, Teamwork, Discipline, Friends and Fun.

The Upstate Young Marines is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) program, if you would like to donate or inquire about the program please contact:

SgtMaj James Roberts
Cell 808 -454-3565
E-mail trainingyoungmarines@ymail.com
Unit website: upstateyoungmarines.com■

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