Tuesday, November 14, 2006

James T. Conway becomes 34th Commandant

Lieutenant General James T. Conway, yesterday recieved his fourth star and in a chilly ceremony at the oldest post in the service, became General James T. Conway, 34th commandant of the Marine Corps.

Gen. Mike Hagee handed command to Conway, passing the Corps’ battle colors to his successor at the Marine barracks in Washington, D.C. “Throughout all the postings and assignments I have had, the one thing I am most proud of is that since 1968 I have been called a U.S. Marine,” said Gen. Hagee who is scheduled to retire in the coming months. His remarks focused not on his career but on the Marines now under Conway’s leadership, calling them “today’s guardians.”

“I can tell you morale is unbelievably high” because Marines know they are doing something very important for this country, Hagee said. In the last four years, the Corps “projected combat power over 400 miles from the sea to Afghanistan,” when doctrine said it could manage only half as many miles, he said. The Corps sent 70,000 Marines and sailors to Iraq in less than 60 days and performed worldwide humanitarian aid in response to earthquakes, mudslides and Hurricane Katrina.

Also attending was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said Hagee has “left behind a Marine Corps that under his watch has become the best-led and best-trained.” The SECDEF remarked that “The Marine Corps is fortunate that they have been led by a man with vision and courage and honor,” referring to Hagee. “And it is fortunate to have Conway stepping up.”

He also noted Hagee has led the Marine Corps during some of the organisation’s most challenging times, citing the Marines’ hard fighting in Fallujah, Ramadi and other parts of western Iraq. “Heroes are not in short supply,” Rumsfeld said of today’s Marines. “We can say with pride that many of this nation’s greatest young people are those who proudly wear the eagle, the globe and the anchor.”

Gen. Conway was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1970, where he held a variety of platoon and company commander billets. As a field grade officer, he taught tactics at The Basic School, served as operations officer for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to include contingency operations off Beirut, Lebanon, commanded Battalion Landing Team 3/2 during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and served as commanding officer of The Basic School.

As a general officer, Conway has served as the commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force during two combat tours in Iraq, the president of the Marine Corps University at Quantico, Va., and up to lat week, the Director of Operations, J-3, on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.

“The raw courage, the selflessness, the teamwork demonstrated by this young generation is absolutely unbelievable,” said Conway. “I would suggest that our services, our Corps and our nation are in great shape for a long time to come.”

Conway takes the helm as Marines continue to engage enemies on the frontlines of the Global War on Terrorism. “This is going to take awhile,” he said of ongoing operations in Iraq. “With your support there is only one outcome, and that is victory.”

Amen sir!

Sources: US Department of Defense, Marine Corps Times

2 comments:

Former Grunt said...

I'd guess that Conway is the first commandant you've served with in combat?

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

Well we wern't exactly standing side by side puffing cigars and popping Iraqis with .45 pistols of course, but he was commanding the I MEF which my unit was a component of for a while.