Distinguished guests, colleagues, friends, and, most important, members of the Marine Security Guard Detachment of U.S. Embassy New Delhi, good evening. It is my great honor to welcome you to this celebration of the 243rd anniversary of the United States Marine Corps.
We would also like to extend a special welcome – or should I say welcome back – to our distinguished guest speaker this evening, Major General Joaquin Malavet, the Director for Strategic Planning and Policy at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and a truly impressive leader. In addition, I would like to recognize the outstanding personnel in the Embassy’s Regional Security team, the Defense Attaché Office, the Office of Defense Cooperation, and the Marines from our Consulates who have traveled here to stand watch so that our New Delhi Marines can enjoy this celebration. And, of course, we want to acknowledge our Indian guests and military colleagues from other countries. Thank you all for honoring us by your presence.
Hundreds of people at the U.S. Embassy work each day to keep our Embassy safe, and to deepen the partnership between the United States and India. We thank all of you for your service. Tonight, we express our special appreciation to Gunnery Sergeant Emiliano and the members of our New Delhi Marine Security Guard Detachment. We thank you not just for your service, but for upholding the values and traditions of your great institution – the United States Marine Corps.
When I arrived in India almost a year ago, I knew that the Marines were an integral part of the safety and security of our Embassy. But I did not fully appreciate the key role that they play in the Embassy community and in our diplomatic efforts. They greet us each day as we enter the Embassy. They are the last to say “goodbye” as we leave. They make us feel safe and secure throughout the day. And, of course, the Marines stand with us as we work to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and India.
This is my first Marine Corps ball, but I am well aware of the storied history of Marine Corps and this fine tradition to celebrate them. The Second Continental Congress formed the Marine Corps in 1775 because we needed specialized landing forces for the fledgling Continental Navy. Thus, the Marines have existed even longer than our nation itself.
Since their origin, the Marines have won victories in some of the most celebrated battles in our history. In the Marine Corps hymn, you hear lyrics about storming the “Halls of Montezuma” during the Mexican-American War, and about routing the Barbary pirates on the “Shores of Tripoli.” At some of the most difficult points in our history, and in moments that mattered most to our country, the Marines were there and stood for the ideals we represent.
I am deeply impressed by the way the Marines have continued to play an outsized role in the safety and welfare of the United States. And this is not just in battle. If you look around the current U.S. Administration, you might think that the Marines have taken over our country. The Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, is a former Marine; the Chief of Staff to the President, John Kelly, is a former Marine; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, is also a Marine. That’s a pretty impressive record for one institution. And rumor has it that Gunnery Sergeant Emiliano is gunning for my job!
In addition to Gunnery Sergeant Emiliano, let us recognize all of the members of the New Delhi Marine Security Guard Detachment.
• Staff Sergeant Richard Peña
• Sergeant Kyle Crittenden
• Sergeant Trevor Huckins
• Sergeant Brandon Munn
• Sergeant Tariq Sargeant
• Sergeant Konnor Starks
• Sergeant Eric Tinnon
• Corporal Timothy Irish
• Corporal Tristan Carlin
• Lance Corporal Logan Murphynoren
Thank you all, on behalf of the Embassy community and the American people, for your professionalism and for your friendship. You exemplify the highest ideals of service to one’s nation. Tonight is your night. Enjoy it as we celebrate all that you do.