Letters to the Editor

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JBLM: Command change ceremony lacked spit and polish

Letter by Robert H. Lamb, Manchester on July 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm | 32 Comments »
July 10, 2012 3:35 pm

I read about the change of command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (TNT, 7-4). I was disappointed to see a picture of two lieutenant generals in a vehicle with a headlight out, and they were dressed in the “working uniform,” as were the troops.

I miss seeing generals looking like generals and dressing accordingly. They are not one of the boys. On the back page was a picture of them hugging. How sweet.

On July 6, I attended the change of command at the Coast Guard base in Port Angeles. Everywhere it was spit and polish – the enlisted in Class A with spit-shine shoes, officers is dress white, all the formalities in place including the music during inspection of the troops. It reflected the pride of the men and women of the base and the 13th Coast Guard District in general.

At the conclusion, the two commanding officers shook hands and saluted. No hugging.

While I have not discussed it with the Coast Guard, I would be willing to bet that if the new lieutenant general at JBLM requested it, the commandant of the 13th Coast Guard District would be happy to arrange for classes on the formality and procedures for a change of command.

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