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First Lt. Russell W. Hromadka, a UH-1Y Huey pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), gives the commandant of Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, a demonstration of how to utilize the Geographical Reference Group on the iPad, Dec. 23. Amos, along with Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, visited several bases throughout Afghanistan to wish the troops merry Christmas.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Christine E. Polvoros

35th Marine commandant spends first Christmas in Afghanistan

23 Dec 2010 | Staff Sgt. Christine Polvorosa

Eyes were fixed, center stage, on the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, as he addressed thousands of Marines and sailors serving aboard Camp Leatherneck, Dec. 23.

While accompanied by the 16th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, the commandant spoke about the future of the Corps, topic s in his planning guidance and the sacrifices Marines have made in service to their country.

Amos also relayed a message from President Barack Obama – "Tell the Marines in Afghanistan thank you, and I appreciate what they are doing and the fact they are away from their families at Christmas."

Marines are all too familiar with being forward deployed during the holidays, expressed Amos. So if there are going to be Marines and sailors here in Afghanistan, that’s where their commandant will be –spending Christmas with them.

At the end of his address, Amos opened the floor for questions, which allowed the Marines the opportunity to engage the commandant with inquiries and concerns.

Significant topics of inquiry included the Marine administrative message directing assignment for female drill instructors, the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, implementation of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the possible designation of counter improvised explosive ordnance training as a military occupational specialty.

After questions wrapped up, the commandant and sergeant major concluded their visit with a show of appreciation to the Marines and sailors.

"The commandant and I just want to say that we are extremely proud of what you do for our Corps," said Kent. "You are truly living up to the great legacy of our Corps."

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing