According to the letter from the Commandant in the glossy brochure provided, the purpose of the of the conference was to “examine the impact (of energy issues) on the Marine Corps and look toward solutions for the future.”. The event opened as only Marines can do it, with a posting of the Colors and the Commandant’s own brass. This was followed by the introduction of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway. And here's the really good part:
Instead of platitudes, we got marching orders. The Marines will send an energy assessment team to Afghanistan by the end of the month. The Marines will establish an Energy Office at Headquarters, Marine Corps, and will accomplish 10 specific energy-related efforts by 2010 ... "10 by ’10!".
After 45 minutes of unscripted remarks peppered with relevant facts and figures on Marine Corps' energy challenges and accomplishments, the Commandant sat down ... but he stayed. And he was still in the house when the Secretary of the Navy, Raymond Mabus spoke next. He was there when Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality spoke at lunch. And he was there when the panel of retired flag officers and energy experts (including Richard Kidd, director of DOE/FEMP) finished their presentations.
Every service is addressing energy issues through forums, but I have never seen a Service Chief devote an entire day to an open event like this. If this does not make clear the Marine Corps' absolute commitment to energy security, nothing does. Once again (sorry, my Army brothers and sisters) the Marine Corps leads the way.
Semper Fidelis.Thanks Dan. And while it won't be the same as being there, not by a long stretch, here are some of the presentations for your viewing pleasure at home or work.