A MEU Commander’s Birthday E-mail

If it’s November 10, it must be the birthday of the United States Marine Corps, truly one of the most contrived, over-hyped yet effective dates in modern military history.

Today I had birthday e-mails awaiting me and my mug of very dark roast.

Bleary-eyed I saw one was from Naval Academy classmate and commander of 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Mark Desens and I were children together in the same company. He is one of the good guys.

I’d like to share his note with you. I am making a big assumption that he won’t mind. In the space of two weeks, I’ve had two birthdays. One made me feel older and today’s made me feel proud.

The Marine Corps Commandant’s 235th Birthday message cites many of the works Marines are doing around the World today. I am proud to
say that the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit has Marines in two of the
places he specifically mentioned.

We have been providing Humanitarian Aid to Flood Ravaged Pakistan for two months. In very challenging conditions, they have delivered over 6 million pounds of food to thousands of isolated villages, saving thousands of lives. They will soon self-deploy over 1,500 miles back to the USS Kearsarge, a feat in itself.

Meanwhile the USS Kearsarge remains MODLOC’d (Modified Location) off the Horn of Africa. As I just told the assembled Marines during our Cake Cutting Ceremony, “Our job is to make our enemies – who wish to terrorize our Homeland – fear for their lives…and, if possible, relieve them of theirs.”

I also reminded them that tonight, when they say their prayers, to Thank God for the privilege of being a United States Marine. It has
been my privilege for over 26 years. I may make it a career.

Semper Fidelis, LEFTY

Colonel Mark J. Desens USMC
Commanding Officer
26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Recent Posts