St. John Young Marines graduate third platoon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 7, 2011



LAPLACE – The young men and women who make up the St. John the Baptist Parish Young Marines gained some new family Sunday evening as a platoon of new recruits joined the ranks of the fast growing civic service program.

Lead by the more senior members of the organization, a group of 19 boys and girls from the parish, now known as “Charlie Platoon,” celebrated the completion of a 26-hour training course with a graduation ceremony at St. Charles Catholic High School in LaPlace.

“Life is not easy, life is filled with challenges,” Said Young Marines Executive Officer Mike Hoover, a captain in the St. John Sheriff’s Office. “But if you choose to face those challenges and work them into your life, you will always succeed.”

Hoover encouraged the graduates to never feel sorry for themselves if something doesn’t go exactly right in life. He said self pity leads to distractions like drugs, alcohol and other dangers.

“Stay confident,” Hoover said. “Do whatever your dreams are. Don’t let the doubters get you.”

In the year and a half of existence, the Young Marines program has grown into a community support group of sorts that is never hesitant to step forward to lend a hand within the parish.

“When St. John needs assistance, they are always there,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom. “This is the type of leadership that will change St. John Parish for the better, and it already shows.”

Robottom made reference to various donation drives, car washes and community events including the inaugural St. John Parish Veterans Day Parade, which was the brainchild of the Young Marines and their Unit Commander Brian Bertrand.

“These are our leaders to be in the parish,” Robottom said. “They are the next generation.”

Bertrand said in the short time the St. John unit has been in existence, the group has garnered serious attention from regional and national leaders of the Young Marines.

“When I have gone to regional and national conferences there is always high praise for us,” Bertrand said. “When leaders on a national level are telling you that the way we run our program is the way all programs across the country should be run, that says something. It says something for our members, but it also says a lot for the community. The support we get from the people of this parish is outstanding.”

Bertrand said Alpha and Bravo Platoons will have one more training session Saturday and added will begin going through applications for recruits to join the next wave, which will begin early next year after the program moves into its larger facility. For more information on the program, visit

Members of the Charlie Platoon are as follows: Brett Bailey, Nicholas Basile, Melvin Bates, Faith Berryhill, Matthew Billings, Sadeik Brown, Robert Cook, Jaddan Diaz, Ariel Duhe, Dallas Duhe, Christopher Holmes, John Holmes, Chase Ingram, Jordynn Ory, James Perilloux, Faisaun Pharr, Haley Walker, Logan Walker and Katelyn Washington.