The following is the Thanksgiving message from the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith. In addition, there are photos from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James Honea.
Secretary Carlos Del Toro released the following Thanksgiving message to the Force on Nov. 22, 2023:
Happy Thanksgiving to the Navy-Marine Corps Team of Sailors, Marines, civilian employees, and families.
This holiday encourages us to take stock of and reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. For me, doing so is simple: I am forever grateful for the honor to serve as your Secretary of the Navy. You stand the watch in support of one another and in defense of our Nation. I could not be more proud of all that you accomplish. Please accept my profound and humble thanks.
A very special thank you goes out to our teammates deployed and underway. While you may not be able to gather at the table with your families this year, please know that the Nation’s thoughts, prayers, and thanks are with you, wherever you find yourselves.
Please check in and say thanks to one another and your families during this Thanksgiving weekend. Let them know you care and that you are grateful for them, as I am grateful for each of you.
Thank you for everything you do. Happy Thanksgiving.
Released by the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.
The following is the Nov. 21, 2023, Thanksgiving message from Marine commandant Gen. Eric Smith.
Marines, I’ve been out of the fight for three weeks and haven’t posted to social media, but I wanted to write down a few things that I’d ask you to think about over this long Thanksgiving weekend. I know many of you are forward-deployed or forward-stationed, away from your families, but remember that you won’t always be. We’ve all been there, but please know your Nation is grateful to have you on the watch.
The world is uncertain, and I’ve been reminded recently that we can’t take anything for granted, but as Marines, we must be certain of one thing—that we’ll always have each other. Thanksgiving is a great time to reaffirm our commitment to our fellow Marines and the core values that bind us together.
We often talk about our Corps using terms like the active component, the reserve component, or our veteran Marines. While categories are sometimes necessary for spreadsheets, we are one Corps of Marines. Full Stop. Whether you are active, reserve, retired, or a Marine veteran who served only a few years, you earned the title and you are a Marine forever.
I’m thankful for each one of you, who had the courage to walk past the other service’s recruiting offices that offered you tangible rewards and probably an easier life, to join the one branch you knew was going to be the most challenging. I’m also thankful for the thousands of you who have raised your right hand a second, third, or fourth time since 1 Oct. I’ve always said “Marines vote with their feet,” and I’m incredibly proud that we’ve already achieved over 85% of our first term and 50% of our subsequent term active duty retention goals for this Fiscal Year. That’s a testament to our FMF leadership at the small-unit level.
I know you’ll continue to have each other’s back, but I’d also challenge you to look for opportunities to do even more. This is the time of year when some of us will need a little more. If this were combat, I know each of you would do extraordinary things to help a fellow Marine. I need you to do that in garrison, too.
I’ll be back in the fight soon enough, and I can’t wait to see you all again.
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The following are photos from CNO Fracnhetti and MCPON Honea’s Thanksgiving visit to the Japan-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).