headquarters group … on short notice, in an expeditionary, austere operating environment. They are our
enduring top two priorities.
Third … you can’t do any of that without the people. You have to take care of the people — Marines and
Sailors, and their families. You can’t do the first two if
you’re not actively involved in the readiness of the
families and the career development of the Marines
and Sailors that make your force up.
The Marine Corps has come out of two major
wars, but global tensions and missions continue to demand presence or forces elsewhere.
What do you hear about Marines wondering
what roles they’ll have?
BERGER: There’s always tension between senior lead-
ers sensing that … our op-tempo is really high, and are
we running the machine too fast? On the other hand,
you have 18- and 19-year-olds that come into the mil-
itary and they want to deploy. We’ve told them, “You’re
coming into the military so you can protect the U.S.,
The Marine Corps has always — always — been the
‘911’ force that’s ready for what we didn’t see coming.
So our job is always to train Marines maybe not for a
specific conflict, but to be ready to go tonight, with
your gear, ready to fight, anywhere in the world. Our
challenge is to make them mentally expeditionary in
mindset, in training and in equipment.
There’s plenty of business out there.
BERGER: There’s no shortage of work, is there? Under
our leadership now, the guidance is pretty clear: As a
Navy-Marine Corps team, we are going to remain
forward-deployed, ready to respond, all the time. We
are not going to stay back here and wait for a bell to
ring. We are going to keep a good third of our forces,
like Expeditionary Force 21 has laid out, forward-deployed. We are going to maintain that forward-deployed posture with us and with the Navy. ;
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