CMC visits depot
By Pfc. Kaitlyn M. Scarboro
| | August 12, 2005
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee visited the depot Aug. 11.
He began his visit at Drill Instructor School. After meeting with several of the exemplary drill instructor students, Maj. David B. Morgan, director of Drill Instructor School, briefed the Commandant on the health of the Marine recruits and drill instructors. Questions were raised about what ranks should be allowed to attend the school. The maturation rates of corporals and the physical endurance levels of gunnery sergeants were topics of discussion.
At the end of his briefing, Gen. Hagee commended the work of the drill instructors. "We have better recruits today than we did when I was in boot camp. Gen. (Charles C.) Krulak said we do two things (in the Marine Corps): win battles and make Marines. If we make Marines the correct way, we'll win battles. They are the future of our Corps."
The Commandant addressed and thanked the students of the Recruiters School next.
"Thank you for not only what you've done in the past; thank you for what you are about to do for this organization," he said to the soon-to-be recruiters.
Gen. Hagee told them to stay motivated, and he explained how recruiters do the Corps a great service by providing themselves as role models for future Marines.
"You are going to represent the United States Marine Corps throughout the U.S. to people who don't really know much about it," said Gen. Hagee.
Following a question and answer session with the recruiters, Gen. Hagee held an open forum with the depot Marines at McDougal Hall.
Marines asked many questions about the war in Iraq and raised concerns about the welfare of their comrades fighting overseas.
"One of my top priorities is to see that every Marine is properly equipped, properly trained and properly educated. In fact, I could argue that was the reason morale is so high," responded Gen. Hagee.
He noted that equipment for the Marines is advancing with production of the Marine Armor Kit vehicles, and the Marines in Iraq prefer the MAK vehicles because they are side-armored and have great air-conditioning.
Gen. Hagee also referred to a sea-basing tactic, which is a virtual base at sea, as " a capability the Navy and the Marine Corps can give this nation."
"(It means) we can go anywhere in the world we want without a permission slip," he said.
Before continuing his tour of the depot, the Commandant gave six outstanding Marines a gold unit coin with the Commandant's seal. Unit leaders nominated Staff Sgt. Erick Jones, Sgts. F.W. Ortega, Miguel Gutierrez, Nicholas N. Lopez, Lance Cpl. John W. Solem and investigator Kate M. Utterback for the coins.
Following the forum, the Commandant posed for group photos with the depot Marines in small groups.
For his final stop, the Commandant visited Marine spouses at the Bay View restaurant.
On his way to the luncheon, Gen. Hagee paused to greet a new Marine and his family.
"It was a great honor to meet (the Commandant) right off the bat. I couldn't believe it at first," said an overwhelmed Pvt. Vincent D. Maguire. "(My family) thought he looked sharp. They were impressed with him. My grandfather couldn't stop talking about him."
At the Bay View, the Commandant answered questions about base closures and housing, and he thanked the ladies for supporting their husbands.
Pictures of Gen. Hagee's visit and group photos are available at the Commandant's Web page www.usmc.mil/cmc/photos/index.html.