Two Buffalo Ridge Young Marines graduate to higher ranks

Ceremony was conducted April 9.

041622 N DG Buffalo Ridge Young Marines Graduation.jpg
Buffalo Ridge Young Marines Graduation 2022
We are part of The Trust Project.

WORTHINGTON — The Buffalo Ridge Young Marines of Worthington graduated two recruits on April 9, both of whom have now earned the right to be called Young Marines.

The graduation ceremony was led by Unit Commander Dan Harrington at Living Waters Covenant Church with over 30 guests attending, including Senior Vice Commandant Thomas Childs and Junior Vice Commandant John Stewart from the Marine Corps League, Buffalo Ridge Leathernecks #1463.

The graduates included YM/PFC Ben Marquardt, Worthington, and YM/PVT Katelyn Rodenberg, Adrian. The Guest of Honor and speaker was YM/GySgt Christian Merren, of Rochester.

The graduates were trained by YM/GySgt Christian Merren, Executive Officer Dr. Michael Merren, Training Officer John Stewart, Adjutant Caryn Harrington, Finance Manager Mandy West, and Support Staff Trudy Henry.

Marquardt excelled in all aspects of training and testing. He was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class (PFC) and given the Honor Graduate award.


Young Marines looking for new recruits

The Buffalo Ridge Young Marines is one of over 300 Young Marine units across the country. Founded in 1959, the Young Marines of the Marine Corps League endeavors to instill positive, enduring values in boys and girls ages 8 to 18. There are more than 14,000 young Americans being guided by an organization based on Marines, veterans and civilians giving back to their communities.

Buffalo Ridge is the only Young Marines Unit in Minnesota. The local Young Marines Program began in January 2020.

The Young Marines is a challenging program that requires a commitment to excel in the academic, physical and social aspects of life. Youths have the opportunity to build self-esteem and leadership skills through physical fitness training; camping; close order drill; swimming; land navigation; first aid and CPR and other activities.

They earn promotions and ribbons through their achievements as they develop these skills.

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

Recruits are required to complete a 26-hour orientation program, and were taught subjects such as history, customs and courtesies, close order drill, physical fitness, and military rank structure.

They also received instruction in Drug Demand Reduction, where they focus on raising awareness of common gateway drugs that are either in homes or neighborhoods and are most often encountered and easily accessed by children and young adults. They are encouraged to share their knowledge within their community and with their peers.

The Young Marines employ the President’s Challenge as its Physical Fitness Test (PFT). The Physical Fitness ribbon is awarded for each PFT and the scores are recorded in the Young Marine’s Record Book. The PFT consists of the 1-mile endurance run, Curl Ups, V-Sit & Reach, Shuttle Run, Push Ups or Pull Ups or Flex Arm Hang.


Buffalo Ridge hosts drills from 8 a.m. to noon two Saturdays per month in Worthington. For more information, contact Unit Commander Dan Harrington at (507) 360-7472 or email

What to read next
A free jewelry making class will be offered for individuals ages 16 and older.
Suzie will receive a certificate and $100 cash prize, and her essay will represent Wilmont VFW and VFW Auxiliary at the district level.
The essays received were well written, kind and thoughtful, a release from the Wilmont VFW Auxiliary stated, thanking students who participated and teachers who supported the contest.
When Avera Worthington Specialty Clinic closed its surgical center on the third floor of its Ryan’s Road facility, it created space for home health and hospice services that were previously provided by Avera’s Sibley, Iowa program.