Some of the proudest moments of my life were in the Marine Corps, but some of my worst moments were also. I was not the best Marine ever to pass through Paris Island, but I am proud that I worked hard and served honorably.
I look back over my life and I recognize that my time in the Corps had a life long effect on who I am, and what I believe.
To all the Marines past and present I want to say “Happy Birthday Marine”
The Marine Corps has shaped my desire for justice, for fair play, and for my understanding of the meaning of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
Even though I ended my enlistment in 1999, I still think of my Marine Corps time daily.
The way I work is guided by the two Marine Corps objectives of Mission Accomplishment and Troop Welfare. I contemplate why they are ordered that way, and how the mission is the most important goal, but how you cannot achieve it without taking care of your people.
Along with my religious views and my belief in our Constitution, The USMC Leadership Principles are one of my main guidepost in life.
- Know yourself and seek improvement
- Be technically and tactically proficient
- Know your Marines and look out for their welfare
- Keep your Marines informed
- Set the example
- Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
- Train your Marines as a team
- Make sound and timely decisions
- Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates
- Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities
- Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions
I look to build and improve myself by studying the importance of the 14 Marine Corps Leadership Traits remembered by the acronym J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE:
I remember the history of the Marine Corps, and all the sacrifice of the men and woman who came both before and after me. How even though they didn’t know a thing about me, they risk their lives and sacrificed everything to help me to keep the freedoms earned for all Americans.
Eleanor Roosevelt said “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps.”
But when I think of the United States Marine Corps I remember the words of Orwell “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
“While war is an ugly thing, it is not as ugly as a country cloaked in apathy and wrapped in dependence.” As long as we have young men and women volunteered and swore and oath to to support and defend our Constitution against all of its enemies I have hope that our problems can be fixed because I know the heart of a person that takes that solemn pledge.
I may not be as lean, or as mean, but I still have the heart of a Marine, and I want to wish all my brothers and sisters a blessed birthday.
Happy Birthday Marines