This year's annual Marine issue coincides with a number of events of major importance to the Corps. Perhaps most significant is the investiture of James T. Conway as the 34th Commandant.
The general will be the first Commandant in the past quarter century not to have led troops in Vietnam. But he has seen more than his share of hostilities, including the tragic Beirut peacekeeping mission of the early 1980s, the first Gulf War, and two deployments to Iraq as commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
General Conway, an accomplished speaker, has coined some memorable phrases over the years. This is my favorite: "The Greeks had their Spartans. The Romans had their Centurions and the French had their Imperial Guard. America has her Marines."
We tip our hat to General Conway amid a sense of remorse that his ascension means the retirement of his outstanding predecessor, General Michael W. Hagee. General Hagee, like General Conway a Marine's Marine, has led the Corps with distinction and fortitude.