Modern Day Marine 2015: Hard times. Hard choices.
Everything we do is about warfighting,” Neller said. “We don’t do anything that won’t make us more ready and effective on the battlefield.” General Robert B. Neller, 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps
It was no coincidence that four star General Neller toured the enormous exhibit tents at Modern Day Marine Expo on September 24, 2015, the very first day of his new assignment as Commandant. This is, after all, the place to see in person the best of what Marines have to move, shoot and communicate now and perhaps in the near future.
That same day, addressing a packed briefing hall at the “Crossroads of the Corps,” Neller seemed to throw down a metaphorical iron glove to assure his highly esteemed Marines there and those deployed worldwide that the Corps under his stewardship would put combat readiness first.
While this time-honored priority would seem chiseled in stone, many in the Corps and in its sister services can’t be blamed for believing that demonstrably hostile agendas, pushed at the highest levels of domestic political power, degrade combat effectiveness.
The ugly realities of crippling budget cuts and radical social engineering over nearly a decade have combined to stress a necessarily shrinking Corps to a dangerous degree. The Herculean challenge to do more with less – always a bedrock Marine Corps virtue – may be approaching critical mass.