ARLINGTON, Va. --
Marines and Sailors, last summer, in my planning guidance, I stated there is no place in our Corps for racists – whether their intolerance and prejudice be direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional. As a continuation of that declaration, in April, I addressed the removal of the Confederate battle flag from our bases, and explained my views behind that decision. I wrote, “Anything that divides us, anything that threatens team cohesion, must be addressed head-on.”
Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division – rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself. The trust Marines place in one another on a daily basis demands this. Only as a unified force, free from discrimination, racial inequality, and prejudice can we fully demonstrate our core values, and serve as the elite warfighting organization America requires and expects us to be.
To this end, Sergeant Major Black and I encourage commanders and leaders at all levels to have a conversation with their Marines and Sailors, and ask that in doing so, all actively listen. By listening, we learn, by learning, we change. The path to a more just and equal Marine Corps begins with these conversations.