More than 200 Marines and their families had the opportunity to share their stories and experiences of living and serving in Japan last Friday when JUMP, in coordination with the Embassy of Japan’s Defense Attache Office, hosted an event at the MCB Quantico officer’s club.
The event included addresses from leaders such as RADM Yuki Sekiguchi, Defense and Naval Attaché, Embassy of Japan; LtGen Robert S. Walsh, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration; LtGen (Ret.) Wallace “Chip” Gregson Jr., former Commanding General of the Marine Corps Forces Pacific and Marine Corps Forces Central Command; and LtGen Mark A. Brilakis, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. The event also included a presentation on the JUMP Program by LtCol (Ret) James Kendall, the director of JUMP.
The final address of the evening was a moving toast from LtGen (Ret.) Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., the former Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration, and the former Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. The toast reinforced the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance, with Glueck reminding those in attendance how precious that bond is, and how important it is to hold on tightly to those friendships formed overseas.
The highlight of the evening was a traditional Okinawan Dance performance, called Eisaa, by Okinawa-kai, a non-profit organization from Washington, D.C. dedicated to preserving the beautiful traditions of Okinawan culture. The performance included some of the organization’s younger members, to the delight of all those in attendance.
This event at MCB Quantico confirmed the sense of community and friendship that develops, not only between our two militaries, but also those that we serve with during deployment. This was exemplified by the excitement evident on the faces of the families in attendance reconnecting for the first time since being deployed together years previously in Okinawa and around Japan.
The JUMP team would like to say thank you to the Marines at Quantico, the Emabassy of Japan, and all the families in attendance that made this evening such a wonderful occasion. We look forward to more successful events in the near future!
View more photos from this event at Quantico in the gallery below or view NHK news clips from the event here.
My family and I first went to Japan in 1984, when I commanded a guided missile destroyer newly homeported in Yokosuka. It didn’t take long before the beauty of Japan and the hospitality of the Japanese people captured my admiration and affection. Both of our children returned to Japan later for exchange visits.
Although Japanese people and Americans are different in so many ways, through the years our people have formed unique personal bonds and a sincere appreciation for each other’s countries. That is especially true among service members, government civilians, and their families who have served in Japan.
While I no longer explore the coast of Japan from a ship, I am now happy to be working with JUMP and helping to connect past and present service members and their families with others who have this shared experience. I believe Japan and America have much to offer each other, and JUMP is a powerful tool through which we can continue to build upon the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Admiral Dennis C. Blair, USN (ret.) is a renowned expert on Asia Pacific policy and issues, having served as Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command. During his 34-year Navy career, Blair served on guided missile destroyers in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and commanded the Kitty Hawk Battle Group. Ashore, he served as Director of the Joint Staff and held budget and policy positions on the National Security Council and several major Navy staffs. He is the Chairman of the Board at Sasakawa USA, which administers JUMP, and he has participated as a recurring featured guest at JUMP events.
2022 The Japan U.S. Military Program (JUMP)
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