CRESTVIEW — Feb. 15 is the deadline for parents who want to sign their children up for next month's 26-hour Emerald Coast Young Marines boot camp.
Boot camp — March 1, 8 and 15, for children ages 8 to high school graduates — will require participation in drills, running and completing multiple team-building exercises.
"The boot camp is the initial way to become part of the Emerald Coast Young Marines," Unit Cmdr. Lynn Dominique said.
And prospective recruits, take note: You will be watched throughout the camp.
"Every single recruit has the opportunity to step up and show leadership," Gunnery Sgt. Michael Warren said. "We are scrutinizing them the entire way, so if they have traits that exemplify good leadership, we are going to take note of that."
That could mean promotion to higher ranks within the organization.
The camp takes place at several locations, including the Crestview Elks Lodge, American Legion Post 75, Twin Hills Park and a U.S. Army Ranger training facility on Eglin Air Force Base.
The organization can change recruits' lives, Warren said.
"Before I joined, I had little to no morals to God and country," he said. "Thanks to boot camp, the experience has awakened me to the (military) heritage and the responsibilities American youth have."
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Emerald Coast Young Marines Boot Camp seminar
WHEN: 1 p.m. Feb. 15
WHERE: Elks Lodge 2624, 127 W. Pine Ave., Crestview
CONTACT: Unit Cmdr. Lynn Dominique, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Emerald Coast Young Marines program has taught children the importance of discipline, leadership, teamwork and drug prevention education since 2010.