Our workforce truly understands the meaning of their service. The lights stay on longer as more equipment leaves the base to travel overseas to Afghanistan or to training units in the continental United States.
It is often said in the Marine Corps that “tactics is for amateurs while logistics is for professionals.” Various commands located here have working agreements with local education centers to ensure logistics professionals are developed in the local area for future service as Civilian-Marines.
Having said that, the Southwest Georgia region has provided a great place for Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Marines and Sailors to grow as service members and human beings. As base commander, I continually work to foster a sense of Country, Corps and Community among the young people here who wear the uniform, as well as Civilian-Marines and contractors aboard the base.
As public servants, we at MCLB Albany have made a pledge to serve others. This pledge does not end at the end of the work day. Instead, it exists as a frame of mind. It means serving our customers in other commands and it also means serving the outside community.
We can only prove ourselves by continually improving our service, whether it is to our largest tenant command, Marine Corps Logistics Command, or our local schools and community organizations. Many wonderful opportunities exist, which will enable us to grow, prove and serve. Guiding us through these opportunities is the leadership philosophy “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.”
5 Words: “All Men are Created Equal” — The opening of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” This idea expresses the very basis of American Democracy, it is one of my core beliefs, and it will be practiced by all in this command.
4 Words: “In the Beginning God”— Every Marine, Sailor and Civilian-Marine believes in something, regardless of religious orientation. Developing those spiritual beliefs meets a basic need common to all members of this command — a need that, along with the mental and physical aspects of professional development, results in individuals who are emotionally prepared to meet the challenges of our service. We have a base chaplain charged with this mission and with continuing to develop the Command Religious Program in an effort to foster and support that search.
3 Words: “I Love You” — What we do as Marines, Sailors and Civilian-Marines requires love of family, country and Corps. We consider those Marines, Sailors and Civilian-Marines around us as being our extended family, especially while deployed. Just as with our family at home, it is often difficult to show the patience, kindness, unselfishness, truthfulness and endurance necessary to maintain this love. This love is a conscious choice made and maintained regardless of the actions of others who may be selfish or cruel. I challenge all of us to make this decision, and more importantly, maintain that decision throughout our duties, regardless of the difficulty. This love has moved Marines and Sailors over the past 236 years to lay down their lives for each other. My hope is that none of us have to make this supreme sacrifice, but my expectation is all of us use the power of our love for one another to carry us beyond our perceived limitations to accomplish great things.
2 Words: “Commitment; Courage”— Our Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment are equally valuable, but without the principles of commitment and courage, we will never obtain honor, which is the reputation and moral identity of the command as a whole. I expect all personnel within my command to be committed to having the courage to practice honor. In practical terms, this translates into being committed to making the right decisions for the right reasons at the right time and having the courage — the moral courage — to do so when the decision is difficult or unpopular.
1 Word: “Humility”— We joined the Marine Corps to be one of “The Few, The Proud,” not one of “The Few, The Humble,” yet humility is the most important principle we must practice. While pride is part of being a Marine, Sailor or Civilian-Marine, we need to remind ourselves that we entered the military and/or Civil Service — meaning each of us was seeking an opportunity to serve others (our country, family, etc.) and not just ourselves. This was our first step toward humility — the willingness to place others above ourselves. And this is what makes humility a strength and not a weakness — looking out for the interests of our fellow Marines, Sailors and Civilian-Marines.
As base commander, I look forward to wonderful opportunities and the future of MCLB Albany. I envision a culture of service hinged on Marine Corps values, as our Marines and Civilian-Marines work to serve their brothers-in-arms overseas and a community who has accepted us with open arms.