Sergeant Maj. James R. Futrell, sergeant major, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, conducted a professional military education class Sept. 25, at the Sunset Lanai here.
More than 100 Marines from MarForPac Headquarters Battalion attended the PME, and were greeted by Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, commanding general, MarForPac, before handing the floor to Futrell.
The recently appointed MarForPac sergeant major took the opportunity to speak to MarForPac noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted Marines since arriving here roughly two months ago.
Futrell covered a spectrum of topics ranging from his career, to the numerous possibilities Marines have throughout their career as well as after the Marine Corps.
He said one difference in today’s enlisted Marines compared to those from his era is that current Marines have to grow up fast because of the wars. Marines know what they have to do regarding mission accomplishment and they knew what they were getting into even before they volunteered, Futrell explained.
“We’re all here for the same reason, to serve our country. People enjoy their freedom because of you,” he explained to the Marines. “It’s what makes us so extraordinary.”
During the PME, Marines got the chance to enjoy complimentary food before Futrell opened the floor to questions.
One Marine rose and asked Futrell why he wasn’t allowed to go into certain billets because of visible tattoos.
Futrell explained it as a collective image of today’s Marines, and even if it’s not offensive to fellow Americans, or Marines, many other cultures have different opinions about tattoos, generally detracting from the image of “A few good men.”
He concluded by stating, “As Marines we are held to a higher standard. Core Values must be our guide and what we stand for. When you go against these values this is what is at stake; your reputation, your career, your family and your future. Being a Marine is about possessing the Moral, Mental, and Physical strength to resist opposition.”