From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli they’ve been called Leathernecks, earned when Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and his Marines landed at Derna, Libya to fight the Barbary Pirates. They’ve been called Devil Dogs, earned during World War I during actions in Belleau Woods. They are the few, the proud, our U.S. Marines, the men and women of the scarlet and gold. They live by a code, a motto: “Semper Fidelis” — Always Faithful.
But is our modern United States Marine Corps, Semper Paratus, always ready and can they still be referred to as “America’s 911 Force?” Have we made the Marines, too few, while they strive to uphold their pride and honor?
As reported by Stripes.com, “If the Marines were called today to respond to an unexpected crisis, they might not be ready, a top Marine general told the Senate Armed Services Committee on [this past] Tuesday.
Gen. John Paxton, assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, testified to lawmakers that the Marines could face more casualties in a war and might not be able to deter a potential enemy.
“I worry about the capability and the capacity to win in a major fight somewhere else right now,” he said, citing a lack of training and equipment.
Paxton, along with the vice chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, spoke to the Senate committee on the readiness challenges facing each service after 15 years of war and recent budget cuts.
For the Marines, he said units at home face the most risk because of fewer training opportunities with the best equipment deployed with forces overseas. And it would be these undertrained home units that would be called to respond to an unexpected crisis.
“In the event of a crisis, these degraded units could either be called upon to deploy immediately at increased risk to the force and the mission, or require additional time to prepare thus incurring increased risk to mission by surrendering the initiative to our adversaries,” Paxton said. “This does not mean we will not be able to respond to the call … It does mean that executing our defense strategy or responding to an emergent crisis may require more time, more risk, and incur greater costs and casualties.”
I spent a three-year joint exchange assignment with the II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) at Camp Lejeune and it was without a doubt one of the top three assignments I had in my twenty-two year military career. I learned about the training necessary to maintain America’s premier expeditionary force. I was part of the standing up of the 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade as the Force Fires Coordinator and served under Brigadier General John Goodman, recalling our maiden amphibious exercise aboard the Navy LHD-7 Iwo Jima – I’ll never forget all those pushups I had to do just to board. While assigned to the II MEF, it became apparent that Vieques Island off Puerto Rico would no longer be available for Naval gunfire training. So then-II MEF Commanding General Major General “Buck” Bedard turned to his staff “Army Doggie” to rectify the situation and come up with a plan. We did and after his departure, Major General Marty Berndt assumed command and we conducted a live fire exercise using the 5″/54mm gun aboard the USS Lexington onto the impact area of Camp Lejeune.
My history with the U.S. Marine Corps started long before then, as my mom was a 25-year civilian service employee of the 6th Marine Corps District Headquarters in Atlanta. And my older brother was a Marine infantryman, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, wounded at the siege of Khe Sahn.
So for me to read that the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps states that my fellow warriors “could face more casualties in a war and might no be able to deter a potential enemy” — I am saddened, and angry. Mostly angry. I’m angry because we have a Secretary of the Navy more interested in gender-neutral duty positions. I’m angry because we have a Secretary of Defense more interested in opening up combat billets — duty positions — to women. I’m angry because we have a commander in chief more focused on his ideological agenda for special interest sexual orientation groups. Now we have the second in command of our Marine Corps admitting for the whole world to see, that we have indeed decimated our Corps.
Recently we reported how our U.S. Navy SEALS are having to share personal weapons and purchase their own gear. Now we’re finding out that the Marine Corps faces a lack of training and equipment, as General Paxton stated, they are deploying the best equipment with the deployed expeditionary forces. Imagine this statement and let me reiterate it, “In the event of a crisis, these degraded units could either be called upon to deploy immediately at increased risk to the force and the mission, or require additional time to prepare thus incurring increased risk to mission by surrendering the initiative to our adversaries,” Paxton said. “This does not mean we will not be able to respond to the call … It does mean that executing our defense strategy or responding to an emergent crisis may require more time, more risk, and incur greater costs and casualties.”
It appears that the only forces President Barack Obama has degraded and defeated are our own — certainly not ISIS.
And who are all the mindless lemming progressive socialist leftist groups protesting? This is why the liberal progressive left, funded by George Soros and Tom Steyer, must be defeated and NEVER allowed to occupy the White House again. We’ve seen this with the Carter administration. I can personally attest to what happened to our military during the Clinton administration. And the destruction of our military deterrent capacity has only been exacerbated in the Obama administration.
Nothing says slap me in the face to our enemies better than having this being said during open testimony. The recent apprehension of the Islamic terrorist aligned with ISIS in Brussels along with the proliferation of Islamic jihadism, Russian and Chinese military expansions, Iranian hegemonic designs in the Middle East, and North Korean ballistic missile test reminds us of the global instability and insecurity we face. It’s hardly a time to have senior U.S. generals testifying that our forces may not be ready to respond. We have degraded our venerable military deterrent capacity, especially our expeditionary global response force. At every time since World War I, when America reduced its military capabilities, enemies of a Machiavellian bent saw opportunity. And now is no different.
The left has set its designs on social egalitarianism within our military: gays serving openly, transgenders serving openly, and women in front line combat units. What doggone difference will any of that make when you have endangered the lives of our men and women in uniform? Barack Obama and his leftist acolytes do not have their priorities straight when it comes to “providing for the common defense.” They only care about making a very small special interest minority happy — which results in Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, and Islamic jihadists being just doggone ecstatic.