January 21, 2016 --
Dozens of installation Marines and Sailors filled the Base Theater for a Town Hall meeting when Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, made his first visit to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Jan. 21.
Sharing a bit of Corps history, Green, the 18th SMMC, reminded service members of their role in service to the country, informed them of some of the changes they can expect as plans are underway for integration in the services as well as the implementation of other benefits they can expect.
After greeting fellow service members and extending regards from Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, Green spoke of the search efforts for the 12 Marines, who recently perished in Hawaii and thanked Marines and Sailors for their service.
“General Neller sends his well wishes,” Green said. “We (are planning to) make it back this way within the next (few) months. Unfortunately, we had a tragic accident in Hawaii; we lost 12 Marines. Keep them in your prayers, if you’re a prayer; if not, keep them in your thoughts.
“Thank you for what you do for the country and for what you do for the Corps,” he continued. “I want to (say) that from the bottom of my heart. You didn’t have to do it; nobody in this room was drafted. Every one of us -- Marines and (Sailors) -- volunteered. That’s (what makes) the team.”
The SMMC then shifted his attention and discussion to the commandant’s Fragmentary Order.
“How many of you all have actually laid your eyes on the commandant’s Frag Order,” Green asked. “You’ve got about 24 hours to make that happen. I’ve come here to raise the bar. So, by the time we leave here, we should all be more educated and be ready to train.”
Green commented about the Marine Corps’ impact on, what he referred to as, "guaranteed liberty and freedom” in America.
“We are not willing to give up our liberty and our freedom,” he added. “We are not willing to allow a dictator to tell us how we are going to live in America. That’s not going to happen. Why is it not going to happen? Because as long as there’s a Marine Corps, there will be freedom in America. That’s a fact.
“No one said it’s going to be easy,” he added. “No one promised a rose garden. As a matter of fact, we sit here because we want to be taught.
“We enjoy being on the point,” Green said. “We enjoy the fact that in 1952, the 82nd Congress told the United States Marine Corps, 'You are to raise three divisions; three air wings and the support. You are to be the force in readiness. You are to be most ready when the nation is least ready.'
“The 114th Congress, a few years ago, looked out there and said, ‘Remember Marine Corps, you’re still the nation’s 9-1-1. You are still to be the force in readiness,’” he pointed out. “So, when America shines a backlight, as she did after 911, the Marine Corps, through our great Navy and our great Air Force, landed first and led the way. That’s what we do. That’s why we put the uniform on every day and come to work. It’s not a job, it’s a way of life.”
Sgt. Steven McGahee, postal noncommissioned officer-in-charge, MCLB Albany, gave his opinion about the SMMC’s visit, changes and challenges in the future of the Corps and the overall impact the Town Hall Meeting had on him.
“The sergeant major of the Marine Corps’ visit was a momentous occasion and shows that he truly cares about all Marines under his charge,” McGahee said. “I think a lot of the changes are coming very sudden; (it’s) like they're all happening at once, but as an institution, we will adapt and overcome.
“The sergeant major of the Marine Corps is motivated; after 32 years in the Marine Corps, it would seem that he would be looking to retire, but he was very sharp and knowledgeable about our Corps,” McGahee concluded.
To read more about the SMMC and to view additional photos from the event, visit MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany/512695405469372.