Young Marines pledge support to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and National Museum of the Marine Corps

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The Young Marines entered into an agreement with Marine Corps Heritage Foundation on Thursday, July 16, 2015 to support the historic completion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The agreement creates a sponsorship of a classroom for the Young Marines and a display of Young Marines historical artifacts and history.

More than 40 Young Marines from across the country were present for the historic agreement between the Young Marines and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

More than 40 Young Marines from across the country were present for the historic agreement between the Young Marines and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.

The historic agreement will enhance educational opportunities for our Young Marines in the future and for all visitors to the NMMC to gain an understanding of the Young Marines’ role in its motto: 'Strengthening the Lives of America's Youth'.

The Young Marines have pledged to support the historic completion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) with a contribution that will earn the organization a permanent place on the Commandant’s Circle wall of the museum’s central hall, Leatherneck Gallery. The pledge by the Young Marines was made official in an agreement with Marine Corps Heritage Foundation on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

"We couldn’t be happier with this agreement,” said William L. Smith, chairman of the board of directors of the Young Marines. “Not only are we extremely proud to support the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Heritage Foundation, we also will be significantly increasing our public visibility with a place that will professionally highlight over fifty years of Young Marines’ history.”

The agreement was signed by LtGen Robert R. Blackman, Jr., USMC (Ret), president and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. It creates a sponsorship of a classroom for the Young Marines, use of the classroom on a priority basis and a display of Young Marines historical artifacts and history.

"More than 40 Young Marines from across the country were present for the historic agreement," Kessler said. "It will enhance educational opportunities for our Young Marines in the future and for all visitors to the NMMC to gain an understanding of the Young Marines’ role in its motto: 'Strengthening the Lives of America's Youth'.”

“The Young Marines have done a remarkable job instilling Marine Corps culture and values in our nation’s young people, so it is fitting that they should have a prominent place in our museum’s education center,” said LtGen Blackman. “To have the Young Marines extend their service to our country further by supporting the completion of the museum demonstrates their commitment to the past, present and future of the Corps.”

The signing was timed to coincide with a visit to the museum by the Young Marines' Summer Programs of Adventures, Challenges and Encampments (SPACES) event, "The Great American History Adventure."

"The Young Marines were greeted by our very own National Executive Director Mike Kessler and Bill Davis, our new National Executive Director and CEO of the Young Marines and Lt. Gen. Blackman," said Stephanie Guiles, the Young Marines' director of education. "The Young Marines saw and enjoyed everything inside and outside of the museum."

Located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Virginia, the National Museum of the Marine Corps tells more than 200 years of the Corps' history, but it's still a work in progress. On March 27, 2015, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, in cooperation with the museum, broke ground for the 117,000 square feet that will complete the museum's circle and tell the Marine Corps' story from post-Vietnam to the present.

While the historical galleries are the focus of the development at this time, the final phase also will include a 350-seat giant-screen theater, education suite with classrooms and children’s activity area, art gallery and studio, sports gallery, Hall of Valor and a gallery featuring rotating exhibits.

About the Young Marines

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 300 units with 11,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries. For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.youngmarines.com/.

About the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

Dedicated to the preservation and promulgation of Marine Corps history, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation was established in 1979 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation supports the historical programs of the Marine Corps in ways not possible through government funds. The Foundation provides grants and scholarships for research and the renovation, restoration, and commissioning of historical Marine Corps artifacts and landmarks. Securing the necessary funding for the complete construction of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center, located in Triangle, Virginia, is the Foundation’s current primary mission while continuing to provide program support for the Corps’ historical, museum, and educational activities. For more information, visit http://marineheritage.org/.

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