Class-25 of the Bossier Sheriff's Young Marines program will graduate at 6:30 this evening at the Viking Drive substation. These forty-seven recruits have spent the past thirteen weekends going through physical training, team motivation, confidence-building skills, and a whole lot more. During this evening's ceremony, the Young Marines are expected to show off some of the ceremonial skills they've learned as well as receive awards and promotions. Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington will be the guest speaker. The Young Marines is a national program founded in 1958 and the official youth program of the United States Marine Corps. The Bossier Sheriff's Department implemented it in December of 2002. Since then, nearly a thousand young men and women, aged eight to seventeen, have been impacted by it.

In the accompanying photo, Deputy Steve Hoff, commanding officer of the Bossier Sheriff Young Marines, helps Connor Gibbins, 7th grader at Elm Grove Middle School, with his rigging as he prepares to pull a weighted sled during physical training Sept. 15.   Hoff, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and 1980 Parkway High School graduate, will graduate his first Young Marines class Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Viking Drive Substation.