“We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.” These words are but a few words from the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps.
On Friday ,April 12, 2019 roughly 500 young men completed Basic Marine Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Just over 1 millions Marines have completed their Basic course at this same location for almost 150 years. The installation is vital to our nations defense.
Those 500 young men, whose average age is just 19, may now officially claim the time honored title of United States Marine. Amongst those newly minted Marines were 11 young men from countries other than the United States. Many more were from states west of the Mississippi River.
These young Marines are among some of the best educated and trained Marines you will ever meet. They survived a grueling 12-week transformation that made civilians into Marines that will win future battles. Yes, some will make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. They are part of the 1 percent of Americans that have the courage to enlist and serve our nation.
Today’s Marines are peacekeepers, defenders of freedom, and war fighters. They perform humanitarian missions here and abroad. In short, they go where they are told and they do so with strong character and a fighting spirit that enables them to overcome many obstacles.
We are proud of everyone who serves and wears the uniform of our nation —past, present, and future. Marines of Platoons 2109, 2110, 2111, 2113 , 2114, and 2115 now take their place in the worlds greatest expeditionary force —The United States Marine Corps.My thanks to Brigadier General R.P. Heritage, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, and his staff, for affording me the opportunity to join him and other dignitaries on the reviewing stand for the Pass and Review and other ceremonies.
Congratulations to Riverside County resident Elijah Torres,( my nephew) who continued his family’s traditions of service to our nation in the United States Marine Corp. Be safe and keep your head on a swivel Marine!
Lead photo caption: PFC Elijah Torres, USMC, Platoon 2114
- Marines: The Few, The Proud. [opinion]: Tom Freeman
- PFC Elijah Torres, USMC, Platoon 2114: Tom Freeman