Browsing: The CMC

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos met with reporters for breakfast in Washington this morning, and as you’d probably expect, the conversation quickly turned to the war in Afghanistan. Amos declined to discuss specifics about recent M1A1 Abrams tank operations, but said the bulk of them are in northeastern Helmand province, where Marines have been engaged with the Taliban since pushing into violent Sangin district in late summer. While the fighting was fierce this fall, he thinks the area has passed the “tipping point” at which it could easily go back to the way it was. “The Taliban have been driven out,”…

So, here’s an interesting photo just released by the Marine Corps: Yes, that’s Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the Corps’ top enlisted Marine, hitting the links at Lakewood Golf Club at Naval Support Activity New Orleans on Jan. 26. He’s certainly dressed for it, too. What is he pointing at, though? Pictured with him are Sgt. Maj. Kim Davis, of Marine Corps Forces Reserve; Sgt. Maj. Chris Bloebaum, of MARFORRES Headquarters Battalion; and Sgt. Maj. James Booker, of 4th Marine Logistics Group. Kent didn’t visit New Orleans alone, though. Marine officials say in a news release that he visited New Orleans with Commandant…

 Commandant Gen. Jim Amos is expected to make a major speech tonight in San Francisco that could provide significant new details about what the future Marine Corps looks like.  Marine officials obviously don’t want to get out front of their commandant, but the speech has been teased to media as focusing on “his vision” for what the service should do next. It will take place at the Marines’ Memorial Club, where Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last August that he was ordering a broad-based review of the Corps’ mission and purpose.  The setting of Amos’ speech is significant. In many…

Four years ago last month, Commandant Gen. James Conway announced that he had selected Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent to serve as his sergeant major of the Marine Corps. It’s a demanding position that requires those who hold it to be equally comfortable while offering blunt advice to a four-star general, inspiring junior Marines and articulating the Marine Corps’ needs on Capitol Hill. Following Conway’s retirement in October, the time is coming for Kent to move on, too. The sergeant major is expected to retire this spring after completing a four-year term as the Corps’ top enlisted Marine. He has held the position…

Late Friday, Headquarters Marine Corps released the following three-minute video featuring Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and his top enlisted adviser, Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, discussing the imminent repeal of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, which since the 1990s has prohibited military service by men and women who are openly homosexual. [HTML1] The pair explain that the service has established an operational planning team that’s working with the Defense Department “to determine the best way forward.” They do not specify any forthcoming changes or indicate what the timetable is for implementation. However, both lean heavily on leaders throughout the ranks —…

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos has said it before and he said it again tonight: The Marine Corps will demonstrate its fidelity to the constitution of the United States by implementing the new policies that will govern the service of openly gay men and women in the military. “As stated during my testimony before Congress in September and again during hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, the Marine Corps will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new policy, ” Amos said in a statement released Sunday evening. He and Sergeant Major of the Marine…

This morning, I met with Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent in his office for a wide-ranging interview. We discussed a variety of issues for future stories, and eventually the subject of this blog, Battle Rattle, came up. Kent, the Marine Corps’ top enlisted Marine, then asked about “the handshake video.” As in, had we seen the video of him shaking hands with recently retired Commandant Gen. James Conway? The one adapted from the service’s 2009 birthday message and set to the music of legendary rapper Snoop Dogg? For those not familiar with what I’m talking about, feel free to review it here. Fair…

This week’s Marine Corps Times cover story cuts right to the chase: It’s all about what the service’s new top officer has planned. Commandant Gen. Jim Amos sat down with Marine Corps Times senior writer Gina Cavallaro and managing editor Andy deGrandpre last week, outlining a variety of priorities for the service. Among them, he wants to see Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command continue to grow, new re-enlistment rules and better unit cohesion. He also disclosed his feelings on the Corps’ tattoo policy. If you look at the cover image above, you’ll also see a teaser that says he “almost declined…

Each year, Marine Corps leadership releases a heartfelt message to Marines in video form before the service’s Nov. 10 birthday. Last year’s message focused heavily on the heroism of Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale, who stood their ground in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2008, staring down a suicide bomber in a truck. They were both killed when the truck exploded, but prevented it from barreling onto a military outpost where dozens could have died. They posthumously received the Navy Cross last year. This year’s message, posted on YouTube today, pays tribute to Marines who fought in the Korean War.…

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