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~Young Marine~
Sergeant Major David Auwen

I joined the El Toro/Tustin Battalion Young Marines in July of 1987 graduating from recruit training with meritorious PFC (Top Academic) in Oct of 1987. I made Sergeant in 13 months and transferred to the Green Knights unit in 1989. I was with that unit for a short time before transferring to Macomb County Michigan. I spent the remainder of my Young Marine career in the Macomb County unit being Honorably discharged as a Sergeant Major in 1995. Some highlights of my time as a Young Marine came later in my career, like being one of only two Sergeants Major at the 1994 National Encampment at Camp Pendleton and the same year leading a Divisional Encampment in Michigan. I was also able to represent the Young Marines at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Security and Defense in Washington DC during my senior year. And not that I am the sole reason but I made a strong case and pushed the issue of Young Marines being allowed to wear dress uniforms, to the point that I wore a set of Charlies to the Young Marine National Headquarters and ate lunch with Jim Parker. During the same trip I managed to also meet with Sergeant Major Harold Overstreet, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps at the time, in his HQMC office. Just a few years later the Young Marines were authorized to wear several versions of the Marine Service Dress uniforms, not exactly like I wore them but close enough. I served in the Young Marines from 1987-1995. The Macomb County Young Marines for most of that but also with the El Toro/Tusin Battalion and the Green Knights. I am now serving on active duty as a Sergeant. I have continued with the Young Marine program as the Macomb County Commanding Officer until recently because I will be transferring back to Camp Pendleton and the 1st Marine Division.
Semper Fi Young Marines and drive on.

----->Recruit graduation in Oct 1987, I am in the first Squad the third from the left.<-----

Sergeant Major ------------------->1994-1995

Here are the next few photos, one is my senior photo in a set of charlies, notice I am wearing the breast patch which in not part of the uniform today. I fought for several years with two National Directors, Byron Haase and Jim Parker to get authorization for these uniforms. Apparently I was beligerent because I was already wearing them while trying to get them authorized. And like my alphas, I just wore shoulder patches on both arms and sewn on SgtMaj cheverons. The gold disk on my pocket was a local award for Young Marine of the Quarter, it is just a National emblem pinned on.

1988 as a Corporal
touring some F-4's at El Toro,the female
Marine in the photo is my mother
(GySgt Auwen at the time,
she retired as a MSgt in 1994.)