BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - The 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Amos, has been on the job for just more than three weeks. He is making his way around the Marine Corps and on Monday came back to his roots at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
"This is our first visit away from Washington D.C. to come out and talk to marines since I became the Commandant of the Marine Corps," said General Amos. "It's no coincidence having spent a big chunk of my adult life here in Beaufort, it's no coincidence we picked Beaufort."
The Commandant talked with Marines from various units, stressing the importance of remaining successful in Afghanistan, ensuring the Marine Corps can continue to adapt to the changing world and taking care of our veterans and wounded Marines.
"There will be decisions that will be made over the next year and in some cases will be tough ones," said General Amos. "If I can talk with them ahead of time, they have a sense of why and my experience is if you can help a Marine understand why, whether it be a deployment or some type of combat operation, they accept it a lot easier. The other thing is it gives me a chance to get out and go all around the Marine Corps and look everyone in the eye and say we love you, thank you for being Marines."
Thsi is something Marines at the air station appreciate.
"It's nice to see pretty much the boss man come down, giving his opinion on things and where he plans to take the Marine Corps over the next four years," said Cpl Trevor Hinkley.
The Commandant says while the budget will be tight, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which will be replacing the F-18 Hornets is important.
"If we don't have the Marine Corps version of the Joint Strike Fighter then our nation is going to have instead of having 22 capital ships that can be sailed around the world to do our nation's bidding with a strike capability, they will have 11," said General Amos.
During his visit, the Commandant also took time out to recognize a number of Marines with challenge coins honoring them for their service to the Marine Corps.