TOKYO – The Marines have tried curfews, drinking restrictions and plain old jawboning to cut down crime and controversy on Okinawa, a key center of U.S. military power in the Pacific. Now they’re handing out reminder cards.
The more than 20,000 Marines stationed in the Pacific region will get wallet-sized cards that promote core values of “honor, courage and commitment,” and remind Marines of the battles fought and price paid by earlier generations.
“We are forward-deployed in the region, and we call this place home,” says Lieut. General Kenneth Glueck, commander of the Okinawa-based III Marine Expeditionary Force. The card “serves as a constant reminder of our heritage, our traditions and the ideals that have made the corps what it is today.”
Glueck went on a speaking tour of bases last year after a series of crimes by U.S. servicemen on Okinawa sparked large-scale protests and led to curfews and restrictions on alcohol consumption for Marines and other U.S. forces. The Marines’ V-22 Osprey also has been the target of protests over noise and safety concerns.
The card includes the names of battles and campaigns fought by Marines in the Asia-Pacific region. It also has a compass rose intended to remind leathernecks to align their values with “True North.” No word on whether a GPS is next.