I donâ€™t start any conversation without
talking about our number one priority,
and that is our Marines in contact,
our Marines at the point of the Spear.
-General James T. Conway, 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps
The above comment was in the USMC Current Operations Brief. If only all of our senior leadership throughout the US Armed Forces could truthfully make such a statement. When his tenure as Commandant comes to a close, General Conway will be missed.
He is a warrior whose Marines, Officer and Enlisted alike, would follow anywhere. Into the gates of hell, in fact. And a good many of them have been there more than once. That is the true measure of a leader. It has been so since before Thermopylae, and will always be so.
The above applies equally for the Corps’ Sergeant Major, Carlton W. Kent. SgtMaj Kent would echo his boss’s words about Marines at the pointy end, not because his boss said them, but because he believes in them and espouses the same leadership philosophy. I had the pleasure of serving with SgtMaj Kent on Okinawa some years ago, and he was the finest SgtMaj I ever saw. The Corps will lose this incredible gem soon, as well, and he will be equally missed.