News: MCIEAST leaders talk with Cherry Point Marines
Story by Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gory, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East, and Sgt. Maj. Ernest K. Hoopii, sergeant major of MCIEAST, visited Cherry Point June 24 to discuss important subjects with the Marines, Sailors and civilians who maintain Cherry Point’s operations.
While MCIEAST and most of its components are non-deployable commands, the Marines and facilities still have an important role to play supporting warfighters overseas.
“Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, I want to brag about you guys for a little bit,” said Hoopii while addressing the station’s Marines. “Everybody in this squadron has a part to ensure everybody else on this station can do their job safely and effectively. Thousands of our Marines and civilians have a responsibility to ensure that our Marines in the operating forces and their families are well cared for so they can focus on carrying out the mission while the rest of us are holding down the fort in the rear.”
They both talked about ways for Marines to improve their careers and issues that directly affect them. Gory spoke specifically of leadership and personal drive to accomplish missions.
Gory shared the story of when he was a young supply officer, he was mistakenly ordered to Parris Island, S.C., to become a series commander of a boot camp platoon. They wanted an infantry officer, but the two fields can be confused on paper because their designators are two different combinations of the same four numbers. While it had been a mistake, Gory’s superiors said he could stay if he could prove worthy of his post.
“The bottom line is, if you have that honor, courage and commitment, that (your military occupational specialty) isn’t going to hold you back,” said Gory. “It’s pride in what you do on a day-to-day basis, that’s what gets you through. Two and a half years later as a company commander, I was selected to be a general’s aide.”
Hoopii also shared thoughts about the drawdown of the Marine Corps. In terms of infrastructure, the past decade benefited MCIEAST because the Marine Corps improved old facilities and built new ones in order to support greater numbers of troops. While the Corps may be shrinking today, the benefits of those facilities are not going away.
“There (are) many good things that have happened since the start of the Global War on Terrorism – the construction of new homes, schools, roads, MCCS facilities such as Child Development Centers and gymnasiums, renovations to our base hospital and the modernization of communications systems throughout the Corps,” said Hoopii. “So good things are happening, and we’ll all benefit from them for the next several decades.”
After discussing the important issues facing the Corps today, Gory left the troops with some advice before continuing on his tour of the air station.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve with you,” said Gory. “The sergeant major and I talked about some important things for us to think about today. Treat each other with honor, courage and commitment, treat yourself with the respect that you deserve, and treat others with respect. If you treat others with respect, it will come back to you.”