MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
This year we celebrate the 237th birthday of our illustrious corps. It is a time to reflect on our heritage, ethos, values, accomplishments and sacrifices. First and foremost, it is a time to remember those in harm’s way, some who will make the ultimate sacrifice for our country and corps.
Throughout history Marines have earned the unwavering reputation of America’s warfighters. Time and time again Marines are the most ready when the nation is the least ready. This is a result of realistic training – our installations and air stations are the foundation for integrated air, land, and sea training operations.
As we reflect on the past year, we must celebrate the milestones and accomplishments that contribute to our continued success as a command and corps. This year, Marine Corps Installations West and Marine Corps Camp Pendleton merged into one single command to increase efficiencies, ultimately providing better serve and support to the operator. As a result, MCI-West is comprised of five installations and two training ranges within California and Arizona, and provides support to three Marine Corps training installations.
The Region’s amphibious-landing beaches, strategically located airfields, and acres of live-fire and areal gunnery ranges allow Marines to train as we fight. This is especially important as we draw down from Afghanistan and reorient our forces toward the Pacific region. No forces are more suitable to addressing the emerging strategic needs in the Pacific than Naval amphibious forces. We are extremely fortunate to train in the Southwestern United States, there no better place to integrate our air, land, and sea assets with our ever emerging weapon systems.
This year also marked the 70th Anniversary for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. From its humble beginning as a cattle ranch when purchased in 1942, it has grown to be the nation’s premier amphibious training base. Our nearly 18 miles of undeveloped coastline in close proximity to two Marine Corps air stations, makes Pendleton the ideal place to prepare for overseas contingencies and operations.
I urge you to reflect on the heritage, customs, and core values that have been passed down from generations of Marines. Remember with pride and gratitude those currently in harm’s way as well as those who continually support us – our families, sailors, veterans and members of our local community.
On behalf of Marine Corps Installations West and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, happy birthday, Marines!
BGen Vincent A. Coglianese