Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta loves Marines. It’s evident in the commissioning speech he gave recently at the ceremony for the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA. He’s transparently sincere. Here are just a few of the heartfelt and, dare I say it, inspiring remarks from this video:
Each of you graduating today will carry on the proud legacy of the Marine Corps, which stretches back to the very founding of our country. It’s a legacy of grit, it’s a legacy of determination…it’s a legacy of fighting like hell when the odds are against you.
This generation, your generation, will take it’s place alongside the greatest generations in our history….You have sent a very strong message that will ring throughout history: nobody, nobody, attacks the United States of America and gets away with it!
We need the Corps. We need the Corps to project power abroad. To defeat out enemies wherever they may threaten us….And most of all, we need the pure toughness of the Marines when we’re in a tight spot. When that great Marine leader, General Chesty Puller, was asked about pre-World War II Marines, known as “The Old Breed,” he said, “Old Breed, New Breed, there’s not a damn bit of difference, as long as it’s the Marine Breed.”
This country, our peace and freedom, “doesn’t mean a damn thing if you’re not willing to fight for it.”