Remarks Over the 1MC on the USS San Antonio Ship Tour

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Norfolk, Virginia
November 10, 2015

CAPT PATTERSON: Good morning, San Antonio, a pleasure to be on the 1MC with you this morning. I think, as most of us are aware, we have the special privilege of playing host this morning to our Secretary of State John Kerry. And so I’ve asked him to – just going to say a few quick words before he departs on to the rest of his events for today.

But Mr. Secretary, I want to personally thank you for being aboard and having you on board to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday with us today. It’s also, I think, appropriate here on the eve of Veterans Day to recognize you on board, welcome you back to the fleet, and recognize and honor you for your service as a veteran. So that’s not lost on us, and we appreciate that very much.

And as a former - once a Navy, always Navy - I want to present you with a San Antonio ball cap, making you an honorary member of the crew of USS San Antonio, and you are certainly welcome back anytime. It’s an honor to have you aboard, sir, and I’m going to pass the microphone off to you, sir.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Thank you very much. Well, hello to everybody aboard San Antonio. It’s a great, great privilege for me to be able to share a couple of words with you. I want to thank Captain Patterson. It is an honor for me to be able to be aboard and share the Marine Corps 240th birthday. As all of you know, the Marines are a critical part of our diplomatic service. Every one of our 275 posts around the world are guarded by and protected by the United States Marine Corps, so we have a very special relationship.

For me, this is also very special to be back aboard a United States Navy vessel. In fact, standing in this corner holding this mike brings back some memories. I remember going through the Leyte Gulf on the way to Manila, Philippines and I was a PA officer, and a commanding officer told me to get on the mike and start telling everybody about the battle of Leyte Gulf. So I had to do some quick research and wound up chewing the fat for a while on that.

Let me just say to all of you – I’m not going to hold you long – I am deeply appreciative, and on behalf of President Obama and all of us who are engaged in policy decision-making in a very complicated world, there’s nothing that the United States does better than to display our capacity to make a difference through our various military forces. And I am proud, as a former Navy man, to be aboard San Antonio and to say thank you to you for this state-of-the-art vessel, for your extraordinary capacity and your service to our country. I know there’s a lot of sacrifice, time away from home, and days at sea. But you are the cutting edge that make the difference in our ability to be able to make things happen on a global basis, and ultimately, to be able to defend our country.

So thank you for your service, God bless you all, and fair winds and following seas, and thank you very much.