CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. held a town hall meeting for Marines and sailors aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 18, 2014.
The town hall meeting began with Paxton expressing his gratitude to service members for their service and sacrifice to the country and the Corps.
“There are three reasons we make these trips,” said Paxton. “The first reason is to meet the Marines and sailors who are supporting our missions. The second reason is to say thanks to you who are fighting during these tough times; this is what is it all about. And the third reason is to remind you to keep your head on a swivel and pay attention for however long you are here. Everybody has a mission. Every mission has different priorities at the end of the day, but every mission you do is critical to the success not only of Regional Command (Southwest), but critical to the success of the armed forces here in Afghanistan.”
The general continued to address the audience and answered questions the Marines and sailors had about the restructuring of the Corps, how Marines will reset into peacetime as a crisis response force, as well as the integration of women into ground combat jobs. He also told service members what to expect with drawing down the force from approximately 194,000 Marines to 175,000.
Paxton went on to say they are looking to expand the Marine Corps footprint in the Pacific and continue to build the relationship with countries the Corps has partnered and trained with. He said the Marine Corps is also looking to place Marines all in the right place at the right time around the globe so the Corps can react to a crisis if needed.
Paxton wrapped up the town hall by answering a final question from a Marine about the “reawakening” of the Corps and what that means.
“We need to remind Marines and sailors to think about and be careful with what they say and do, and what they post on social media sites,” said Gen. Paxton. “The reawakening is to remind ourselves of everything we learned from the recruit depots at Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California, and recommit ourselves to doing the right thing at the right time and for the right reasons.”