Millennial Marines reject culture of self-absorption, says general

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines, 3rd Marine Regiment (MAR REGT), Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (HI), stand at attention during the 64th commemoration of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, HI. The ceremony held annually to honor those who served during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Date Shot: 7 Dec 2005. DoD photo by: JO2 RYAN C. MCGINLEY, USN.
US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines, 3rd Marine Regiment (MAR REGT). DoD photo by: JO2 RYAN C. MCGINLEY, USN.

Millennial Marines are nothing like the “opinion makers and cultural icons” who embrace an attitude of self-absorption and materialism, according to four-star Marine Gen. John F. Kelly.

Kelly gave a stirring speech Saturday at the New York City Leatherneck Celebration Ball.

The Washington Times reported:

“This is not a criticism, but those with less of a sense of service to the nation will never understand it when men and women of character step forward and look danger and adversity straight in the eye, and refuse to blink or give ground even to their own deaths,” said Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, a former enlisted man who rose to the armed forces’ rarefied air as head of U.S. Southern Command.

“The young people I work with every day and serve the nation in the armed forces, in general, and the Marine Corps, in particular, have broken the mold and stepped out as men and women of character who are making their own way in life while protecting ours,” he said. “Young people who, like their fathers and grandfathers before them, have a religious faith in self-reliance, hard work, and making it on their own. This is who they are, and it is this philosophy that came to them through their families.”

“If you think this war against our way of life is over because some of the self-appointed opinion makers and chattering class grow ‘war weary,’ because they want to be out of Iraq or Afghanistan, you are mistaken,” Gen. Kelly said. “This enemy is dedicated to our destruction. He will fight us for generations, and the conflict will move through various phases as it has since 9/11.”

He spoke of  a cultural schism between “a population who has never served and the relatively few who want to,” according to the Times, calling out  those “who for their own reasons dare to so patronizingly speak for us, calling us victims and weary, but have never walked in our shoes or stood by a flag draped casket holding someone so precious.”

Kelly, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to current Commandant Gen. James Amos, didn’t mention his own sons who serve in the Corps.

Second Lt. Robert M. Kelly, was killed by an improvised explosive device while in charge of a platoon in Afghanistan in 2010, according to the Times.

H/T : WFB

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