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Commandant visits Fightertown, speaks to Marines

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | October 22, 2015

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Gen. Robert B. Neller, 37th commandant of the Marine Corps, visited Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Oct. 14-15. Neller toured the Tri-command area to visit Marines aboard the air station and attend the Parris Island Centennial Celebration.

After landing on the Fightertown flight-line Oct. 14, Neller and Sgt. Major Ronald L. Green attended the celebration on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island the next morning and spoke with Marines at the Lasseter Theater aboard the air station. Green is the sergeant major of the Marine Corps.

“It’s a pleasure to be here,” said Neller. “One of the best parts of my job is meeting Marines face to face and hearing from them directly.”

The commandant covered a variety of topics in his speech but the primary emphasis was on leadership and how every Marine is responsible for their own part of the Corps.

“I expect leaders to lead, Marines to follow, and everyone to work hard,” said Neller. “I expect the most from our leaders. They have to know their Marines problems and attend to them so we can get the mission done, and keep everyone safe.”

The importance of training and mission readiness were conveyed by the commandant as well. He said that every Marine needs to know his or her job to be ready for the future.

“We have to train hard and relentlessly so we can be ready to fight at any time,” said Neller. “I don’t know when or where our next fight is but it is coming and we have to be strong.”

            Although Neller does not know when our next engagement is he is fully aware of the Corps’ role in America’s defense.

“The Marine Corps has been uncontested on the battlefield,” said Neller. “The nation knows that we are the best and we will get the job done.”

At the end of his talk, Neller opened up the floor for Marines to ask questions. Inquiries ranged from Corps wide policy changes to base specific operations. The general answered each question with honesty and respect.

“It felt great to have our voices heard,” said Lance Cpl. Nicolaus Sitzer, a cryogenics technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 aboard MCAS Beaufort. “He listened to our problems responded earnestly. It’s one thing to wait around for the order to come out; it’s another thing to hear it from the commandant himself.”

This was Neller’s first visit to Beaufort since assuming command. He is currently touring all Marine Corps Installations in the U.S. For many audience members, it was the first time they have interacted with a commandant.

“He seems like a real leader,” said Sitzer. “He’s really down to earth and easy to talk to. His speech was motivating for everyone.”

Neller became the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps after relieving Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., Sept. 24. He has served 40 years as an infantry officer, rising to commanding officer of Marine Forces Command before being selected for commandant.

  “It’s up to me, with your help and support, to lead the Marine Corps into the future,” said Neller.


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