News: Corps’ top leaders visit warfighters in Afghanistan
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan – Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, and Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, the 17th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, visited with Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Sept. 22 during a battlefield tour of the province.
The commandant and sergeant major were on base to discuss Marine Corps-wide topics with the expectant Marines and sailors.
Amos talked at length about the attacks of 9/11 in commemoration of the 10th anniversary, and praised them for their bravery and service.
“Those plots, those attacks, were planned about a hundred miles east of us, right here in Afghanistan, right over by Kandahar, by people that wanted to destroy our way of life,” said Amos. “They tried to destroy it here in Nawa; they tried to destroy it in Ramadi; they tried to destroy it in Fallujah – they were determined that they could take the United States Marine Corps and the United States of America on ... and we’d end up cowering and running with a tail between our legs. That’s simply not going to happen.”
The commandant also discussed the progress made in Helmand province in recent years, a direct result of the hard work and dedication of those Marines and sailors who have deployed to the area.
“I’ve been in and out of here for three years, and I’ve watched the progress of Afghanistan,” said Amos. “It may not be pretty, and it may not be perfect, and it may not ever be that way, but I’ll tell you what, you have made a difference.”
Barrett also praised the Marines for their hard work, courage and sacrifice, highlighting their choice to serve the nation after the attacks of Sept. 11.
"I look at the young faces sitting here – the majority of this room joined after 9/11,” said Barrett. “You could have done anything you wanted, but you chose to serve – the most honorable and noble profession on the planet – to serve your nation, to serve free people living in a free society who want to come and go as they please.”
Amos and Barrett closed the visit by answering questions from the Marines and sailors, and Barrett emphasized the importance of working hard for those Marines hoping to re-enlist in the future.
“I’m going to put out a real simple statement: bring your A-game every day,” said Barrett. “If you go to the rifle range every single time, every year, and you strive to shoot high expert and then you’re just [angry] because you shot low expert, then you’ve got the right mindset.”
The 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, is currently assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.
Date Posted:09.26.2011 13:29
Location:FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, AF
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