National Young Marine
of the Year 2018-2019

YM SgtMaj Lauren Loria,
Col. Wesley Fox Young Marines

The Young Marines, a national youth organization, announced the 2018 - 2019 National Young Marine of the Year – YM SgtMaj Lauren Loria, 17, of Fairfax, Virginia. 

She is a member of the Col. Wesley Fox Young Marines under the command of Terri Loria. The unit meets in Sterling, Virginia. Loria is a senior at Chantilly High School.

She represented Division 2, competing with five other Division Young Marines of the Year for the title of National Young Marine of the Year which was announced at the annual Adult Leaders’ Conference for Young Marines held Saturday, May 12, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.

“I was so excited when I heard my name announced,” Loria said. “This is the start of a new role for me in the Young Marines. My mother is so proud of me. She had been telling me I could achieve this, and I guess I proved her right!”

Loria joined the Young Marines the day she turned eight and is now in her ninth year in the program. She has faced many more challenges than her peers including being without a home while in the 4th and 5th grade.

“At that time, the Young Marines was the only stable part of my life,” she said. “For me, it is much more than a youth program; it’s a lifestyle and a family.”

After Loria had spent some time in the program, she developed a passion for teaching other Young Marines and being a part of a team.

“Since I first joined the program I have been teaching other kids, especially ones that have a harder time learning,” she said. “I find new ways to improve comprehension. Watching Young Marines that I have taught is very rewarding, and it is truly the reason why I have put my faith and heart into this program.”

“When you hear her story, you realize YM SgtMaj Loria is the personification of what makes the Young Marines program so powerful,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “She has demonstrated perseverance over all these years as well as leadership at multiple levels now to include being the national representative of all our Young Marines. I know she will do very well especially given her passion for mentoring the youth in the program. Her dedication really shines through.”

Last March, as Division 2 Young Marine of the Year, Loria escorted WWII veterans to the annual Reunion of Honor trip to Guam and Iwo Jima.

“The trip to Guam was extraordinary with the culture and the historic sites, but Iwo Jima was something different,” Loria said. “It was humbling yet exciting, somber yet hopeful. The Reunion of Honor was an event where two nations came together to mourn a horrific battle and to swear to never allow it to happen again.”

Loria received the Commendation of Merit for an outstanding job as 1st Sgt. during Division 2's Frozen Chosen. She also earned a Distinguished Order of Merit for completing a two-year bench dedication project, now located in Eleanor C. Lawrence Park, in honor of Col Wesley Fox. In addition, Loria has been entered in the Congressional Record for her numerous community service hours.

Outside of Young Marines, Loria plays soccer and enjoys working on cars. In addition, she paints and spends time with her iguana, Hugo. 

Her goals after high school are to apply for a motorsports scholarship to the University of Northwestern Ohio where she will earn a bachelor's degree in automotive technology for high performance vehicles and later, transfer to the Universal Technical Institute in California to get a certificate in Auto Collision.

“The Young Marines definitely helped me identify a career,” she said. “I believe I have the leadership skills and confidence to pursue it.”

As National Young Marine of the Year, Loria will travel throughout the country representing the Young Marines, and she will be a mentor to the 9,000 youth members of the organization.

“I am very excited to meet Young Marines from all across the country,” she said. “I want to make a lasting impact. I want to show them all the opportunities that the Young Marines give. I would also like to inspire the female Young Marines that this is as much a girls’ club as a boys’ club. Even if I only inspire one Young Marine, I will consider my mission a success.”


YM SgtMaj Lauren Loria 
National Young Marine of the Year 2018-2019

Col. Wesley Fox Young Marines