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Date Signed: 12/14/2015
ALMARS Number: 032/15

R 142120Z DEC 15
ALMAR 032/15
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. Marines and Sailors, as we move into the holiday season I want to take the opportunity to wish you and your families my sincere appreciation for all that you do.  We ask a lot of you, and you always deliver.
2. During the holidays, many of us will travel to gather with friends and family to celebrate. Due to travel, weather and other factors we know that the season comes with increased risks. Leaders should know the details of their Marines’ holiday plans and apply operational risk management, peer-to-peer reviews, and engaged leadership to help guide Marines to smart decisions and not accept unnecessary risks. If conditions change during your leave, update your plan, communicate with your leadership, and protect yourself from incident and accident.
3. Protect what you’ve earned. It is an unfortunate fact that some Marines will not achieve the level of success they are striving for because of one common factor: misuse of alcohol. I ask that each of you reflect on your decisions and commitments, the countless hours of training, and the pride that comes with the title “Marine.” After you earned the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, you began learning our profession; you became technically and tactically proficient, and set goals for your success. You have worked so hard to be the person your family and friends are proud of. You are part of the world’s most renowned fighting force. So I ask you: why would you let misuse of alcohol get between you and your continued success? I am not suggesting that Marines of appropriate age should not drink. If you choose to drink, just assess your risks and be responsible. If you know Marines who are struggling with alcohol, help them. In combat, Marines are biased for action. Apply this same mentality to caring for each other.
4. So at the end of the day, I would simply ask that all be safe over the holidays. If you are deployed or away from friends and family for training, we know you will remain focused on the mission at hand. If you have time off, enjoy your time with family and friends. Reach out to fellow Marines and Sailors who are separated from their loved ones this season. Make sure every Marine has a place to celebrate – if not with their family, then with a Marine Family during the holidays.  We need every one of you back after the holiday period. The strength of the wolf is the pack and the strength of the pack is the wolf.
5. Let’s remain ready to fight and win in 2016. Semper Fidelis, Robert B. Neller, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.//