Browsing: The CMC

USA Today published a story yesterday by longtime war correspondent Jim Michaels, who traveled with Commandant Gen. Jim Amos during his recent trip to Afghanistan. For readers who have been tracking Marine operations in Helmand province closely, there won’t be many surprises in the piece… except maybe this: From mid-March to mid-July, 147 members of the Afghan security forces were killed in action in the Helmand region, up from 57 in the same period last year, according to Regional Command Southwest. During that period, 31 coalition troops were killed in action, down from 50 troops a year ago. In other words, Afghan…

Sometimes, the boss comes long ways to check in on his people. That was the case yesterday in Afghanistan, where Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett dropped in on six bases and outposts, fielding questions from Marines and thanking them for their service. There are at least two accounts of their travels published. A Marine Corps news release said the brass visited Marines at Camp Leatherneck, Forward Operating Base Payne, FOB Geronimo, FOB Jackson, FOB Zeebrugge and Combat Outpost Shir Ghazi. That means they traveled from Kajaki district in northern Helmand all the…

When I’m in Afghanistan, I have what some people may consider an odd habit: closely inspecting memorial tributes developed by the troops, for the troops. They come in many sizes, shapes and colors. There are murals. There are photographs. And there certainly are battlecrosses, which serve as the centerpiece of many memorial ceremonies that deployed Marines hold for their fallen brothers and sisters. Each of these tributes captures a story of sacrifice, pain and sadness. Conversely, they show a sobering sense of pride in the honor and dedication displayed by those who gave the last full measure of devotion. I…

This week marks the 100th anniversary of Marine Corps aviation, and the service is doing it in style. If you haven’t seen this video clip yet, you’ll probably want to check it out. It begins with a message from Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, then shifts to high-speed video footage recorded in the cockpit of several different aircraft. The heavy metal muzak comes free of charge: [HTML1]

The Home of the Commandants at Marine Barracks Washington is a living museum where all who enter or are fortunate enough to live there are surrounded by artists’ renditions of some of the most famous faces, places and battles in the Marine Corps’ history. Completed in 1806, the historic landmark is the oldest continuously occupied home in Washington and the names of many of the artists whose works adorn the walls have long since faded into the past. So, when Staff Sgt. Kristopher Battles was chosen to create the home’s newest painting, he knew it would be one for the…

[HTML1] Marines, Marine families, Marine supporters and anyone who’s ever worn the Marine Corps uniform get a Christmas salute from Gen. and Mrs. Bonnie Amos in this 4:43 minute video shot at The Home of the Commandants in Washington, D.C. With “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” playing softly in the background, the commandant sends a “special shout out” to the “more than 30,000 Marines and sailors forward deployed and forward engaged in the defense of our nation in Helmand province, aboard ships at sea, at embassies and in detachments around the globe.” Taking turns addressing viewers, Bonnie Amos points…

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos made a big splash in the media during his Thanksgiving trip to Afghanistan, not only visiting Marines, but frankly assessing the future there. Significantly, he acknowledged to Associated Press reporter Bob Burns that the number of troops in Helmand province would drop “markedly” next year as part of President Obama’s planned drawdown of U.S. forces in the country. “Am I OK with that? The answer is yes,” Amos said. “We can’t stay in Afghanistan forever. Will it work? I don’t know. But I know we’ll do our part.” In many ways, those comments raise as many…

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos’ trip to Afghanistan through the Thanksgiving holiday has brought a little reported Marine Corps mission to the forefront: village stability operations. Associated Press reporter Bob Burns was along for the trip, and outlined in some detail what operators with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command are doing in Puzeh, a dusty village in Helmand province about 10 miles south of the Kajaki Dam. In September, I discussed the MARSOC village stability operations mission with Maj. Gen. John Toolan, the top U.S. commander in southwestern Afghanistan. Instead of being involved in raids or other high-profile spec-ops missions,…

On Saturday night, I attended my first commandant’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball in National Harbor, Md. It was an impressive event with excellent food and music and a guest list that included more than a dozen general officers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the Corps’ recent Medal of Honor recipient. As is customary, the Marine Corps gave each of the estimated 3,000 guests a gift. This year’s was a 10-inch miniature Marine officer’s sword letter opener, complete with sheath and intricate detailing. The swords were made by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum and Cie, of Soligen, Germany. It bills itself…

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