Teammates of the Ninth,
The future of the Marine Corps and its legacy are literally in our hands. We have been entrusted with the mission of finding those young men and women who will join the ranks of our beloved Corps, maintain its standards of warfighting and professional excellence, and ultimately defend America and our way of life. These young men and women are looking for a challenge, aspiring to be part of something greater than themselves, and determined to serve the Nation. One day, long after we are gone, those outstanding patriots that you have recruited out of America's heartland will win our Nation's battles and write another illustrious chapter in our Corps' history. We will accomplish this noble and sacred mission by being true to ourselves and our heritage as America's premier warfighting force.
We are Marines first. We will serve with honor, courage and commitment while accomplishing the mission at hand. The Marine standard is the standard. At all times, the Corps' standards of moral, mental, and physical fitness will be maintained. As Brute Krulak wrote in First to Fight, "America doesn't need a Marine Corps, it WANTS a Marine Corps." Likewise, young people are drawn to Marines because of who we are, of what we represent and of what we accomplish together. They want to be different and to be part of something larger than themselves. We must uphold our standards of military excellence and professionalism.
We are a team. Marines get the job done and accomplish the mission as a team. Teams are built on trust. Trust is built on integrity. We must never do anything to violate our integrity or trust in one another.
We take care of each other. Every Marine or civilian joined the Corps to be successful. No recruiter embarked on his or her tour planning to struggle or fail. In this inherently stressful assignment we must remember to help each other improve every day and overcome the inevitable challenges of recruiting. The District's primary mission is to ensure our Recruiting Stations and their SNCOICs are successful. We must never forget that it is the RSs that carry the load and our job is to ensure they get across the finish line with their honor clean and all personnel accounted for.
We have a mission to accomplish. Recruiting is a tough, but an exceptionally rewarding business that allows all of us to choose the next generation of Marines. Missions are non-negotiable, but will be fair; I will only ask you for what I need. We will only succeed over the long term if everyone pulls their fair share of the load. We must do the prospecting and screening work required to ensure that we maintain a healthy pool and have the depth required to absorb changes in the mission. This will prepare us for the tough times ahead when the economy improves and propensity decreases. Treat every victory like it might be your last; there is no room for complacency anywhere. Just like in combat, complacency kills.
We take care of our "gear." Marines are good stewards of the Nation's most precious resources, the most important of which is its sons and daughters. We must take care of our applicants and recruits, our vehicles and equipment, and ourselves. Abuse or waste of any resource will not be tolerated; the American people expect more from their Marines.
I am honored to be serving with you in the ranks of the 9th Marine Corps District. Together, we will accomplish our mission, ensure the development and success of our recruiting force, and uphold the highest standards of the Corps across our area of operations.
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps