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Secretary of Defense visits Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Clark

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addresses Marines and Sailors at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hi., Thursday, August 22. Hagel took the time to address the crowd’s concerns before heading to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. (Department of Defense photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Clark/Released)

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii - Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited with Marines and Sailors assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hi., Thursday, August 22, before heading to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“I know something about you all,” he said. “I know the kind of work you do, I know what you mean to our country, but I also know what you mean to our presence in this part of the world. You are on the front edge, you are at the cutting edge of security, of stability, of prosperity – that’s a big task, that’s a big responsibility.”

While speaking to the Marines and Sailors in attendance, he also shared his thoughts on the rebalancing of the Pacific and what lies ahead for today’s military.

“You’re all much aware of the rebalancing that President Obama initiated a couple of years ago,” he said. “This rebalancing is not only about security; it’s not only about our security interest in this area. It’s about a partnership of prosperity for this region in the world. Over six billion global citizens today … the threats that confront the world are not unique to a region, to a country, to a religion, to an ethnic group, these are universal. Alliances become even more than they have been in the past.”

Secretary Hagel also spoke to those in attendance about retirement benefits, “they probably aren’t going to increase, but you are not going to be hurt,” he said.

Additionally, he spoke with the Marines and Sailors about the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill, which he sponsored while he was a member of the U.S. Senate.

“It’s the right thing to do for our people, so we will do everything we can to protect [it],” he said.

That reassured Lance Cpl. Alejandro Acosta, from Roswell, Ga., who serves at Headquarters Battalion.

“It definitely answered a lot of questions I had, about sequestration,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of other Marines had in mind as well, he really put us at ease. I appreciated that he came out here and we’re happy to have him.”


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Secretary of Defense visits Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, by PO1 Cynthia Clark, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:08.22.2013

Date Posted:08.23.2013 17:19

Location:MARINE CORPS AIR STATION KANEOHE BAY, HI, USGlobe

Hometown:ROSWELL, GA, US

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