U.S. Marines brainwash young children
- The following article, attributed to Arizona Republic reporter Lindsey
Collom, appeared on page B8 of the Sunday, September 14, 2003 edition of
The Arizona Republic. For all the hypocritical complaints one hears in
the media about the use of child soldiers in third world countries, the
United States Marine Corps has no qualms about doing everything short of
exposing young children to actual combat conditions. Inspector-general Bles
is certainly disingenuous in claiming this is not a recruiting tool. As
to the difference between the end product of this programme and the end
product of street gangs, the main difference is one of sheer scale in terms
of the number of innocent people who get killed and the profits from the
YOUNG MARINES TEACH KIDS DISCIPLINE AND SELF-ESTEEM
Cheerleading was nothing like this.
The kind of physical endurance Cassandra Isme needed as a cheerleader was a
cakewalk compared with her first day oof "Boot Camp."
"Push-ups, jumping jacks. By the time I was done, I was wiped out," Cassandra
said. "My first day, I wanted to quit."
Cassandra, 11, was referring to her first day of training as a Young Marine,
the national youth program of the U.S. Marine Corps. Twenty cadets in the
Desert and Firebird chapters graduated from the 26-hour Boot Camp orientation
program on Saturday in Glendale.
The orientation introduced recruits to close-order drill, physical fitness,
customs and courtesies, military history and rank structure. Cadets will
goo on to participate in service projects and outdoor activities. They also
learn self-esteem, discipline and confidence.
Children ages eight through high school graduation are eligible for the Young
Marines. Many of the graduates said they want to join the military when
they're old enough.
"Oh, yeah, I'm gonna be a Marine," said Shaun Dean, 12, dressed in crisp
fatigues and shiny black shoes. Shaun's sister, Amber, 10, is also a Young
The program is not a military recruitment tool, said Joseph E. Bles,
inspector general at the Young Marines' national headquarters in Washington,
"All we want to do is help these children become good citizens," Bles said.
"What we do is very similar to what the gangs do. The difference is the
Shannon Gouweloos of Glendale said the program has helped her son, Cameron
Walton, 14, in many ways. Cameron is both a Young Marine and a Junior ROTC
cadet at Glendale High School.
"He now takes pride in his homework and his bedroom," she added.