CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — More than 150 Marines raised their right hand and repeated the “Oath of Enlistment” during a mass re-enlistment ceremony in the Camp Courtney gymnasium Friday morning.

“This is about as good a day as we could have here at 3 MEF and Marine Corps Bases, Japan,” said Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman Jr., 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force’s commanding general, during his opening remarks.

Blackman officiated the ceremony and said the decision to re-enlist was a tribute to the young Marines, as well as their leadership.

“Not one of these young men or women would be standing here today if they had not been well tailored over the past four years,” he said.

Blackman congratulated each Marine with a handshake and a coin. He also presented each Marine spouse with a red rose and thanked them for their support.

“I really enjoyed it,”said Sgt. Burt Skurtun, who re-enlisted on his last working day on Okinawa. Skurtun leaves Tuesday for his new duty station, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Skurtun said he re-enlisted because “there’s nowhere else I want to be than in the Marine Corps.”

Career planners are hoping the event will help other Marines decide their future.

“It will hopefully sway some of the guys that are on the fence and help them decide,” said Gunnery Sgt. Mark H. McKay, 3rd Marine Division career retention specialist. “If they see that a three-star [general] takes time out of his busy schedule, then they’ll know it’s important.”

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