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Aspiring Marine finds AU helping to pave way to an officer's commission in Corps
1/22/14

Rickie Young says he greatly anticipates becoming a Marine Corps officer, a goal he’s trained extensively for.  

“It would be the biggest accomplishment and the biggest honor and responsibility I could imagine having at this point in my life,” says Young, a senior at Alfred University (AU).  “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA trains, evaluates, and ensures candidates possess the moral, intellectual, physical, and leadership values to serve as successful Marine Corps officers. At Officer Candidates School, candidates study topics such as land navigation, maneuver tactics and general orders, study Marine Corps history, traditions, operations and organization.

Young, from Columbia Cross Roads, PA, took a unique path to achieving his commission. After he wasn’t accepted to the Coast Guard Academy in high school, he decided to attend AU, enticed by the school’s engineering program; he’s a materials science and engineering major. Maintaining his desire to serve in the military, he began applying for Officer Training School at the end of his freshman year. After receiving an acceptance letter in his sophomore year, he traveled to Quantico to complete the six-week Platoon Leadership Juniors Course and completed the senior level last summer. 

Young says his academic work and playing on the AU lacrosse team has helped him build leadership skills.

“Officer Candidate School is about training, screening and evaluating candidates to see if they have those leadership abilities and potentials to be in the Marine Corps,” says Young. “My officer training has taught me ways of focusing and acting under stressful conditions, as well as built on my ability to lead others.  The (AU) curriculum has proven to be very difficult, and it has made me grow intellectually as an individual, as well as build on my teamwork skills by working alongside other engineering students throughout the courses.”

Young says when he graduates from AU, he will receive commission as a second lieutenant, begin specialized training in Quantico, and then will be stationed somewhere in command of a platoon.  

“I am hoping to pick up an occupation in the Marine Corps either in the infantry or military police,” says Young. “After I complete my commitment of a minimum of four years in the Marine Corps, I may or may not find a career in the engineering field. I am interested in transferring my military experience into a government job such as the state police.”

Young says he’s grateful for his opportunity to serve as an officer and for the support he’s received from his family.

“Being in the Marine Corps is something that’s a lot bigger than you are as a person,” says Young. “My family has backed me through the entirety of the process thus far, and their support has helped greatly. I am very privileged to have the opportunity to be a leader of Marines.”

Young is a son of Timiothy6 and Carol Young of Columbia Cross Roads and a graduate of Athens Area High School.