During 2011, U.S. Marines continued the fight in Afghanistan, conducting aggressive and decentralized operations that allowed them to retain the initiative in Helmand Province, generally considered one of that country’s most challenging areas. After more than a decade of continuous conflict, the post-9/11 generation of Leathernecks—which has served as courageously and faithfully as any—finally witnessed the nation’s highest award for valor presented to a living Marine recipient. While operations in Afghanistan continued unabated, the operational tempo of amphibious forces likewise remained high. Throughout the year the Navy–Marine Corps team continued to apply its amphibious capabilities in a variety of operations, even as a naval renaissance gathered increasing momentum.
U.S. Marine Corps in Review
By Lieutenant Colonel John C. Berry Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)