Click to read my open letter to the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps regarding his subsequent testimony how budget cuts will affect families.
Our war-fighter readiness: being most ready, when our nation is least ready. Care for our wounded, ill, and injured and our family care programs, preserving strong families, transition readiness, returning quality citizens, after their selfless service. Combatting social ills, prevention, accountability, treatment and resiliency. And maintaining our facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization for our billions of dollars worth of infrastructure.
Today I report more than 37,000 Marines are forward deployed, forward engaged, shaping, training, and deterring aggression around the globe. Supporting all six geographical combatant commanders. We are providing our nation the capability to contain crisis, build a gap, or hold the line.
We may be done with Afghanistan this year, but those that we have been fighting are not done with us. At our core, the Marine Corps is the nation’s crisis response force and fulfilling this role is our top priority. We’ve met and continued to meet our obligations in current conflicts, emerging crises, and steady stayed operations. To that point and most recently, your Marines’ efforts have saved lives, provided much needed relief, and evacuated over 19,000 victims ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan.
Our special purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response successfully executed a non-combat evacuation operation in south Sudan and provided reinforcements to other US embassies. We have participated in hundreds of theater security cooperation activities with the armed forces of more than 50 partner nations. The 13th, 22nd and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are afloat and they stand ready as a rapid response force capability providing stability in their area of responsibility.