MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A graduation ceremony was held for the nation’s newest Devil Pups at Camp Pendleton’s 52 Area Parade Deck, July 28.
Among the students in the graduating class was the 50,000th graduate of the program, Benjamin Hulbert, a 15-year-old San Diego native, also the great grandson of retired Marine Corps Colonel Alexander Duncan Shaw, the founder of the Devil Pups program.
“Ever since I was 8-years-old, I’ve always had that urge to be out on the parade deck and become a devil pup,” said Hulbert. “My grandfather started this program because he wanted the teenagers of our country to have a more profound pride in the country they live in.”
The program began in 1954 after Shaw heard about burnings of the American Flag. It was then he realized teens of America needed more pride and discipline to help secure a successful future.
“I feel like a better citizen,” said Hulbert. “I would recommend it to anyone 14 to 17-years-old, anyone doubting themselves, going through a hard time or just needing something to strive for.”
A rewarding experience made to impact hundreds of lives each summer is not an easy task to accomplish in only 10 days. With the help of Marine escorts (instructors), these adolescents are instilled with American values that will last a lifetime.
The pups are taught self-respect, discipline, responsibility and more. After an astonishing transformation these Devil Pups return to society as better citizens and improved individuals.