News: Commandant visits Lava Dogs in Garmsir
Story by Cpl. Colby Brown
GARMSIR DISTIRCT, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and Navy Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, Chaplain of the Marine Corps, visited the Lava Dogs of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment here, Sept. 22.
During the visit, which coincided with the battalion’s five-month mark in Afghanistan, Amos and Barrett thanked the Marines of 1/3 for their continued dedication and service, speaking on several topics including retirement pension, counterinsurgency operations and the Marine recently awarded the Medal of Honor.
After speaking to the Marines as a group, Amos and Barrett gave challenge coins to several Lava Dogs, personally thanking them for their efforts in Afghanistan.
Lance Cpl. Joshua Peterson was one of the few who received a coin. A chance to meet the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is rare.
“It was motivating to be in the presence of the highest ranking Marines, officer and enlisted, in the Marine Corps,” said Peterson, a mess man with 1/3. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing, a special event, and I just happened to be one of the guys who got to meet them one-on-one.”
“The opportunity was cool,” added Peterson, a native of Puyallup, Wash. “It’s not everyday that you’re in Afghanistan and the head guys stop by for a visit.”
Amos is the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps; he is a native of Wendell, Idaho. Barrett is the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps; he is a native of Youngstown, N.Y. Kibben is the first female to hold her current billet and is the 18th Chaplain of the Marine Corps; she is a native of Warrington, Penn.
Editor’s note: First Battalion, 3rd 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 Afghanistan National Security Forces 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 the ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.