Every year, Young Marines around the country strive to make their communities better by teaching other youth to live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. One the most coveted awards in our program is the DEA Device. Those few that have went above and beyond just handing our flyers and having brief chats with folks in their community are able to display the DEA’s badge on their Drug Demand Reduction Ribbon.
How do I earn it?
To earn this award, you shouldn’t rely on your Staff or other Young Marines. This is an individual award that you can pursue on your own.
It is provided by National Headquarters, and awarded to a Young Marine who, while serving in any capacity of the Young Marines at any rank, distinguishes themselves by giving four presentations on DDR to civic, community, and other appropriate audiences outside of our program.
So write up a presentation to give to youth or adults in your community and show it to your Unit Commander or DDR Officer. They should be more than happy to assist you with whatever resources they have at their disposal to aid your success in doing these presentations.
What does the class have to be on?
Any drug or combination of drugs, but note it should be age-appropriate (i.e. most Elementary School-aged youth have no exposure to heroin and cocaine, so you may wish to stick with alcohol or tobacco for these audiences). Include your experiences, training, statistics, and other information to deliver a powerful message to your audience.
Who can I teach my classes to?
There are numerous opportunities for this. Speak with your school principal or teacher and see if you can do an assembly or set up in a homeroom class. Some other ideas include:
- Boy/Girl Scout Troops
- Church youth groups
- Adult fraternal groups (i.e. Elks, Rotary, Masons)
- Veteran groups
If there is a group in your community that could benefit from learning more about drugs and their effects… then ask them if they will allow you to teach!
Any other rules?
Yes, there are a few other guidelines to keep in mind.
- All four presentations should take place in a year’s time (12 months).
- Should be a classroom-type setting (not while standing at your unit’s DDR Booth).
- Must be a minimum of 20 minutes in length.
- Should include your own creative and original ideas (not Project Alert or other pre-made courses).
- Should be an individual effort outside of the Young Marines Organization (not presented to your fellow Young Marines).
I am ___ years old, can I do it?
There are no age or rank restrictions on this… the only thing holding you back is your own desire and motivation. If you want to earn this award, the get started!
I hope this clarifies this award for those that weren’t sure of it. To read more on this award, and other Young Marine awards, check out the Awards Manual.