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The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee listens to a Marine's question, during his visit at Al Asad, Iraq, April 11. In the course of the commandant's visit, he ate breakfast with several Marines from various units, as well as stopped by a few squadrons to talk with Marines.

Photo by Lance Cpl. James B. Hoke

CMC, SMMC visit Marines at Al Asad

27 Nov 2007 | Lance Cpl. James B. Hoke

The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee followed closely by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada visited the Marines at Al Asad, Iraq, April 11.

The commandant began his stay aboard Al Asad by eating breakfast with several Marines from various units at the Wings of Freedom Dining Facility.

"It's a blessing," said Lance Cpl. Brian A. Sloan, administration clerk, Marine Attack Squadron 513, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. "There are not many times when our great leaders -- people with really high authority -- come around to see the Marines' faces. They want to recognize issues and problems the Marines have. They want to know the welfare, how the Marines are doing, and even how our families are doing."

The commandant also stopped with a few squadrons to talk with their Marines, and to address any concerns they had.

"It gave us the capability to express the smaller unit's biggest problems," said Capt. Carlton A. Wilson, AV-8B Harrier pilot, VMA-513. "He gave us avenue to talk about new capabilities, as well as to ask for follow on capabilities that will better help us complete our mission.

"His visit here helps us break up our normal routine," added Wilson, an Austin, Texas, native. "I'm just glad the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps came to visit with the Marines. It was the first time for a lot of the Marines to see a four-star general."
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing