There is an axiom in the U.S. Marine Corps that clearly states, “A good leader never leaves his or her dead and wounded on the battlefield.”
Simply put, every Marine who goes in harm’s way and is either killed or wounded deserves to be brought home by their fellow Marines with great honor and respect – even if they must come home on a hospital litter or in a flag draped casket.
Today my belief in that axiom has been sorely tested by the words of our Commander-in-Chief, as reported in The Atlantic magazine.
To apply the words “Losers” and “Suckers” to those who have given the last full measure to our Country and to question the intelligence of those men and women who have volunteered to “protect and defend the Constitution” are the comments and actions of someone who is the antithesis of what is expected of a good military leader, much less of the Commander-in-Chief.
As a military officer, I have tried to steer clear of politics. My name does not appear on any letter supporting any candidate. I support those who I feel are best prepared to serve, whether as a County Sheriff or President of the United States. Overriding even policy matters is the character of the man or woman running for office. Policies can be tempered or reinforced, but character is a trait built over years and is inviolate. It is on display during good times and bad, and serves as the moral compass for anyone holding a position of trust.
This November our Nation will exercise the right to vote – a right guaranteed and protected by the men and women who have served, or are serving, in our Military. I understand that the vast majority of Americans have already lined up behind a candidate, but I urge that those who have not committed remember that both the world, and history, will be watching how each of us uses our most fundamental democratic right.
Are we still a nation that believes that character counts? Are we still guided by a strong moral compass?
Charles C. Krulak, General, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps