On behalf of the Department of State and all our employees serving overseas and here at home, I wish the United States Marine Corps congratulations on your 244th birthday.
On this special occasion, I want to acknowledge all the Marines who have served as Marine Security Guards and to praise your exemplary work at our embassies and consulates. Your role in ensuring the safe and secure conduct of U.S. diplomacy around the world is critical. Marines enhance our ability to support and defend the Constitution, and you have proven yourselves an invaluable resource for protecting the American people through your unwavering professional integrity. As our diplomatic efforts advance in a constantly-changing global dynamic, we can always count on a Marine standing at the ready to support our efforts.
Since 1948, Marine Security Guards have served side-by-side with diplomats at embassies and consulates, during periods of both tranquility and crisis. But the relationship between the Department of State and the Marine Corps, in our common efforts to promote democracy around the world, goes back much further. I cannot emphasize enough how much we value what the more than 1,900 Marine Security Guards bring to our posts. To everyone who enters a diplomatic facility, Marines symbolize American values of integrity, courage, loyalty, and commitment. Marine Security Guards at a U.S. embassy or consulate do not just stand at Post One – they stand for America. You are truly America’s “Ambassadors in Blue,” and we are grateful for what you do and for your willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, to protect our great nation.
Our embassies and consulates share the Marine Corps’ mindset, “Every Clime and Place.” Our longstanding relationship is evidenced daily at 182 posts worldwide and on the front lines of our war zones. As shown this year in our evacuation from U.S. Embassy Caracas and in the Marine security augmentation in Baghdad, Iraq, the Marines’ partnership in our diplomacy is paramount to our success. Marines answered calls above and beyond in 2019, including for augmentations to Embassies Nairobi, Quito, and Port-au-Prince, and in the activation of the newest MSG Detachment in Matamoros, Mexico.
My own interactions with Marines during my travels have demonstrated first-hand to me your commitment to service and remind me of President Ronald Reagan’s quote, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in this world; Marines don’t have that problem.” In observation of this Marine Corps birthday, please accept on behalf of all American diplomats the State Department’s genuine appreciation for the Marines’ great partnership and for your service to our nation.
Happy 244th Birthday, Marines, and Semper Fidelis!