CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Dark skies, bitter breeze, and chilly temperatures weren’t enough to stop more than 700 Marines and sailors from flooding the streets of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Maj. Gen. Michael G. Dana, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group commanding general, led the Marines and sailors of 2nd MLG on a motivational run around base Feb. 24, 2012.
Each unit proudly sported their guidon and regimental colors while one Marine carried the American flag in the front of the pack.
“My hands may fall asleep, but it’s such a privilege and honor to run behind the general and Group sergeant major,” said Sgt. Wade McKinley, the 2nd MLG color sergeant. “I couldn’t ask for a better billet.”
For McKinley, the sounds of Marines’ calling cadences and the hundreds of foot steps behind him are what keep him going.
“Everything about [physical training] to me is motivating,” explained McKinley. “If you’re down in the morning and you come and PT, it’ll bring your spirits up for the rest of the day.”
Little did the Marines know morale would increase even more after the run when Dana informed them of a short workday. Dana also expressed his gratitude for the Marines and sailors before releasing them.
“Everyone, raise your right hand, and no, you’re not going to reenlist for another four years,” said Dana. “Pat yourself on the back. You Marines have done a phenomenal job this past year. I couldn’t be more pleased. Whether you were in Afghanistan or if you were back here, you all did a phenomenal job.”
The majority of 2nd MLG has returned from Afghanistan, and now the general says they can focus more on stateside operations.
“Just do what you have to do – at the unit level and the individual level,” he said. “What that means is you do what you’re told. You don’t abuse other Marines. When your unit gets a tasking, it gets done. Just do your job.”
Dana had one last thing to say to the Marines and sailors before cutting them loose.
“I have never been around a better quality of Marines and sailors in my career,” he concluded. “You’re the best we ever had. I want to thank you for what you do every day.”