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NGA celebrates Marine Corps birthday

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps celebrates service’s 238th birthday
By Nancy McGillicuddy, Office of Corporate Communications

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Michael P. Barrett thanked Marines Nov. 8 at NGA for their service as part of the 238th Marine Corps birthday celebration.

Barrett, who is the highest ranking enlisted leader in the Marine Corps, said he and Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, are continually impressed by the selflessness, courage and endurance of fellow Marines.

“I am humbled and I am privileged to share in this … wonderful celebration with such magnificent Americans,” said Barrett, who addressed a packed William Allder Auditorium in NGA’s Springfield, Va. location. NGA’s west campus participated via VTC.
Barrett also thanked all service members, the Department of Defense and agency employees for their contribution to national security. “You are vital to securing our county and preserving our freedoms,” he said. “We can’t do it without you. Nor would we ever want to try.”

Barrett highlighted many campaigns — both domestic and overseas — that Marines have led. From the non-combatant evacuation of embassies around the world to the tactical recovery of downed American aircraft, the Marines have been there, said Barrett.

“Our legacy continues — revealed in places like tsunami-ravaged Japan, an imploded Libya, or a flooded Philippines … or along our own borders — providing relief efforts to those who were affected by hurricane or fires.”

Noting that the Marine Corps is an all-volunteer force, Barrett thanked Marines and service members for participating in the nation’s longest fight in its history. “You all could have gone and done anything you wanted in your life, but you chose to serve your nation,” he said. “It is the most honorable and noble profession on the planet to serve free people.”

NGA Director Letitia A. Long introduced Barrett and thanked the Marines for their service.

“Today we honor our nation’s Marines — past and present — and their proud and steadfast service to our nation,” said Long. “Let us also remember and honor those Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. May we never forget.”

Long recognized NGA’s Marines for contributing vital knowledge, insight and experience to operations around the world.

“NGA has a long standing and robust partnership with the United States Marine Corps,” she said. “The work we do together saves lives and defeats our adversaries.”