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Caroline teen named ‘Young Marine of the Year’

The Young Marines, a national youth organization, announced the Division 2 Young Marine of the Year – 15-year old YM/SgtMaj Ian Ross of Woodford.  He is a member of the LCpl Caleb John Powers Young Marines from Fredericksburg, under the command of his father Kirk Ross. Ian is sophomore in high school and is home-schooled.

Ross is the top Young Marine in Division 2 which includes  D.C. and five states: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Over the course of the year, he will travel to other units throughout the division to lead, motivate, and serve as a role model.

As Division 2 Young Marine of the Year, Ross will escort WWII veterans to the annual Reunion of Honor trip to Guam and Iwo Jima in March. The island of Iwo Jima is open only one day each year for this special reunion of Japanese and American veterans.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me to give back to the program which has given me so much,” Ross said. “I have had many opportunities and have experienced tremendous personal growth. I am excited to give back to the future leaders of our country.”

Ross joined the Young Marines at age eight and is in his seventh year in the program.

“Both of my older sisters were Young Marines, so from a very young age, I was able to see the program’s impact and opportunities,” Ross said. “My sisters’ experiences inspired me to get involved.”

As a Young Marine, he was named the Unit Young Marine of the Year and the Old Dominion Regimental Young Marine of the Year. In addition, he is a Public Affairs correspondent.

Outside of the Young Marines, Ross is involved in student council, baseball, and football. After graduating, he plans on enlisting in the United States Marine Corps.

“Ian Ross is an extraordinary Young Marine,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “All our division winners show great qualities of leadership and reverence to veterans. Each lives a healthy drug-free lifestyle which is a foundation of the Young Marines.”

He is the son of Kirk Ross, unit commander and who was a corporal in the USMC. His mother is Stephanie Ross who is the unit’s Adjutant.

How it works

The Young Marines organization is divided into six divisions across the United States. Each Division Young Marine of the Year must meet vigorous requirements such as graduating from Advanced Leadership School at the Young Marines’ National Leadership Academy, maintaining high academic achievement in school, and maintaining high standards of physical fitness.

In the spring, Ross will represent his division in competition with five other division winners for the title of National Young Marines of the Year.

About the Young Marines

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501 (c)(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 235 units with 8,000 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:

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