Thursday, August 16, 2007

Marine General to Leathernecks: Deploy to war zone, or risk promotions

Above: A Marine from the Lioness Program practices Marine Corps martial arts on a volunteer at Al Asad Air Base in July. The Lionesses are an all-female unit organized to engage with Iraqi women at entry control points.

Marines who have not gone to war should be concerned when promotion time comes around, a top Corps official said.

“I guarantee you ... if you have a six- to seven-year war and you don’t get to the war zone, you needn’t wonder what’s going to happen when it’s time for promotion,” said Lt. Gen. Ronald Coleman, deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs in Quantico, Va.

Coleman spoke at a Marine Corps Association meeting here Wednesday, where he told an audience of mainly retired and active-duty Marines that leathernecks who haven’t deployed to a combat zone need to find a way to get to the fight.

“If I’m on the promotion board, I’m going to make a note of that,” he said.

While some Marines have served three, four and, in some cases, five tours in Iraq, 40,000 still have not deployed, Coleman said. Some of those Marines are in the pipeline, including those making the transition from boot camp to infantry battalions.

Read the rest at Marine Corps Times

Related Link:
Pentagon extends Iraq tours for 2,200 Marines

Related Link:
Marine Commandant Conway: Marine Corps resisting pressure to extend combat deployments