PASSING OF THE COLORS

Date Signed: 5/14/2008
ALMARS Active Number: 050/06

R 131201Z NOV 06
FM CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)
TO AL ALMAR(UC)
UNCLASSIFIED//
ALMAR 050/06
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
SUBJ/PASSING OF THE COLORS//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  MARINES, AS YOUR NEW COMMANDANT, I WANT YOU TO
KNOW HOW PROUD I AM OF YOU. AROUND THE GLOBE, YOU HAVE ACQUITTED
YOURSELF WITH DISTINCTION AND HONOR BOTH IN COMBAT AND IN PEACE.
THIS GENERATION OF MARINES HAS ABLY SHOULDERED THE BATTLE COLORS OF
THE CORPS - COLORS PASSED TO US BY THE FINEST FIGHTING FORCE IN OUR
NATION S HISTORY. TO THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE, WE OWE MUCH; TO OUR
NATION S SECURITY, WE DEVOTE OURSELVES FULLY.
2.  MUCH OF WHAT OUR CORPS HAS ACCOMPLISHED HAS BEEN DUE TO THE
WARTIME LEADERSHIP OF GENERAL HAGEE AND THE SUPPORT OF HIS WIFE,
SILKE. WHEN GENERAL HAGEE ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITIES AS THE 33RD
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS, THE CORPS WAS FULLY ENGAGED IN
AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM, BUT NOT YET COMMITTED IN IRAQ.
HE LED THE CORPS AS IT MOBILIZED FOR IRAQ AND AS IT TRANSFORMED FOR
GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT IN THE LONG WAR. GENERAL HAGEE S EXHAUSTIVE
EFFORTS TO ENSURE OUR MARINES WERE PROVIDED THE BEST EQUIPMENT IS
WORTHY OF ALL OF OUR RESPECT AND GRATITUDE.  MY WIFE, ANNETTE, AND
I SALUTE BOTH GENERAL AND MRS. HAGEE S SUPPORT FOR ALL OF OUR
WOUNDED MARINES AND THEIR FAMILIES.  THE HAGEES EMBODY OUR CORPS 
COMMITMENT TO "TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN."
3.  MARINES, THE NEXT FEW YEARS WILL BE TOUGH. WE ARE ENGAGED IN A
COMPLEX WAR THAT WILL NOT BE OVER SOON; HOWEVER, IT IS A WAR WE
MUST WIN!  BELOW ARE MY FOCUS AREAS FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS, WHICH I
WILL MORE FULLY DESCRIBE IN THE COMMANDANT S PLANNING GUIDANCE -
BUT BE CERTAIN OF THIS: OUR MARINES AND SAILORS IN COMBAT ARE OUR
NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. THOSE IN HARM S WAY DESERVE OUR FULLEST
ATTENTION AND SUPPORT.
4.  OUR FOCUS AREAS:
- ACHIEVE VICTORY IN THE LONG WAR. 
- RIGHT-SIZE OUR CORPS TO ACHIEVE A 1:2 DEPLOYMENT-TO-DWELL RATIO.
- PROVIDE OUR NATION A NAVAL FORCE THAT IS FULLY PREPARED FOR
EMPLOYMENT ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF CONFLICT.
- RESET AND MODERNIZE TO "BE MOST READY WHEN THE NATION IS LEAST
READY." 
- IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR MARINES AND THEIR FAMILIES. 
- REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO OUR CORE VALUES AND WARRIOR ETHOS.
- POSTURE THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE FUTURE.
5. YOU WILL SOON RECEIVE MY COMMANDANT S PLANNING GUIDANCE (CPG).
WITHIN 30 DAYS, I WANT COMMANDERS AT ALL LEVELS TO REVIEW THIS
GUIDANCE WITH THEIR MARINES, SAILORS, AND CIVILIANS.  I PLAN TO
VISIT MANY OF YOU OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS. I WILL SEEK YOUR
FEEDBACK ON THE CPG AND YOUR IDEAS HOW WE CAN CONTINUE TO DEFEAT
OUR ADVERSARIES, BEST SERVE OUR NATION, AND FORGE THE NEXT CHAPTER
IN THE PROUD HISTORY OF OUR CORPS. SEMPER FIDELIS, JAMES T. CONWAY,
GENERAL, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE
CORPS.//