MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
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
“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
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
“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
“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
“He seems like a real leader,” said Sitzer. “He’s
really down to earth and easy to talk to. His speech was motivating for
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.