News: CMC, sergeant major visit Cherry Point, discuss state of 2nd MAW, Marine Corps
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Gen. James F. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Barrett, the 35th commandant and the 17th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, visited 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing leaders and spoke to Marines aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to discuss the current and future state of the wing and the Corps, Tuesday, Aug. 9
The visit marked the first time Amos has visited Cherry Point since his appointment to commandant in Oct. 2010, and also for Barrett since his appointment to sergeant major of the Marine Corps in June, 2011.
When Amos and Barrett arrived to the air station theater, hundreds of Marines poured in to hear what their leaders had to say.
“I thank each and every one of you who is proudly wearing this uniform and serving in our Marine Corps,” said Amos.
Amos then moved to popular talking points, such as the Marine Corps plan in regard to the recent budget crisis, developments in Afghanistan, the troop drawdown and what lies ahead for each Marine.
The troop drawdown from 202,000 to 186,000 stood out to the Marines, as several had questions. One Marine emotionally explained how the proposed retirement plan is tough on sergeants and asked what other avenues the Marine Corps could take.
Another Marine questioned the commandant on whether the other armed services were drawing down too and then said, if they are, has the nation addressed the fact that making us smaller is like taking the star quarterback out of the fourth quarter.
The commandant answered each question with poise and tact, and answered the last question with, “Yes, each service is slimming down but keep in mind, we have always been the smallest.” Amos ensured each Marine that the leadership of the Marine Corps is keeping everything in mind when it comes to decision making.
As the meeting winded down, Barrett, with passion in his voice, established a sense of motivation and pride in the Marines after telling stories of young Marines in combat.
“Every day is qual [qualification] day,” Barrett repeated again and again. “It is a tough time for our entire country so I’m not going to hug you and tell you everything’s okay. You need to bring your ‘A’ game if you want to stay in this elite force.”
After his remarks, a thunderous roar of Marines clapping their hands and ‘OOH-RAHS’ spread throughout the theater.
“Sergeant major was on point,” said Staff Sgt. Robert J. Phiffer, the flight line staff noncommissioned officer in charge for Marine Transport Squadron 1. “He was very blunt, straight to the point and said what needed to be said.”
“I appreciate that they came here,” added Sgt. Joshua W. Cleeland, a barracks manager with Marine Aircraft Group 14. “The commandant and sergeant major were very informative and motivating, which is exactly what the junior Marines need.”
Date Posted:08.12.2011 15:54
Location:MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC, US
- Cherry Point hosts computer ‘Give-A-Thon’
- Cherry Point Chow Hall scheduled to renovate, modernize
- Fly By: Sgt. Daniel Rhodes
- Megown takes charge of ‘Hammerheads’