For 223 years, we have been the pinnacle of military professionalism.
Today the Corps is in our hands and it seems like yesterday
that we were on the bottom rung. Now we stand on the shoulders
of giants with the weight of heroes resting on our shoulders.
I for one take this responsibility seriously. I do not wonder
how we will perform the next time we are called upon from a
desperate nation expecting and presupposing a victory from us.
Despite razor-thin budgets and depleted numbers, we who proudly
don the eagle globe and anchor still guarantee America a force
ready to fight and win. Just as our predecessors who took Iwo
Jima in 26 days after the Japanese prepared the island for 20
years, we too are capable of raising our flag atop any foreign
For your past service, I remove my cover and express my
admiration and appreciation. For the future, I challenge you,
as I challenge myself, to work harder and to uphold the reputation
of our Corps. We fight for the American people who never doubt
us in time of need. But we train for the privates, PFCs, and
LCpls whose purpose is to fight, win, and survive. Without you,
they will not accomplish any of those.
Again, I wish all of you a happy birthday and a hearty Semper
Lieutenant Jason D. Grose
United States Marine Corps