The Young Marines, a national youth organization, announced the Division 2 Young Marine of the Year: YM/Sgt. Maj. Ian Ross, 15, of Woodford. He is a member of the Lance Cpl. Caleb John Powers Young Marines from Fredericksburg.
Ross is the top Young Marine in Division 2, which includes Washington, D.C., 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 on 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 8 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. 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.
Outside of the Young Marines, Ross is a high school sophomore and is home-schooled. He is involved in student council, baseball and football. After graduation, he plans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.
“Ian Ross is an extraordinary Young Marine,” said retired Marine Col. William P. Davis, 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 Marine Corps. His mother is Stephanie Ross, the unit’s adjutant.
For more information on Young Marines, visit the official website at YoungMarines.com.