The Aug. 23 article “Marines trade in tradition for tough leadership” was incorrectly titled. A better headline might have been “A Marine Corps first” or “Tough new leadership at the depot ... without a high-and-tight.”

Just because something has historically been the case does not make it a tradition. While it may only sound like a play on words, the distinction is very important to make when placed into the context of the article.

The assumption of command at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., by a female general officer is a historically significant event for the Marine Corps, and should be lauded as such, but it has no bearing on any tradition that I was taught to adhere to, neither in recruit training nor officer candidate school.

The Marine Corps is steeped in, and Marines are uncompromising when it comes to, tradition. From the wearing of our uniform, to our Corps values of “Honor, Courage, Commitment” to the unmistakable pageantry of the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, Marines will always remain faithful and will not “cave in,” “trade in,” “compromise” or “capitulate” when it comes to those rich traditions that have so endeared the Marine Corps to the hearts of the American public.

To be true, if we are making broad statements about Marine Corps traditions, this is but one more example of the Marine Corps adhering to tradition ... the best, most qualified Marine got the job!

Maj. Joseph Uchytil


On our own island on prices

There’s a crime spree running rampant across all U.S. military installations on Okinawa. Every consumer who owns a private automobile is affected by the money-snatching thief. The criminal remains at large and is considered dangerous to one’s bank account. He has recently changed his name to try and hide his identity, but we all know him well. The perpetrator … is none other than the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, aka the Exchange. That’s right, folks. If you haven’t heard, the Exchange raised fuel prices at all military gas stations on Okinawa by 20 cents per gallon as of Aug. 13 for regular unleaded gasoline. This is the highest in the Pacific for military installations and nearly 40 cents higher than super unleaded gas sold at military installations in mainland Japan.

According to the Aug. 12 article “Strong yen blamed for 20-cent rise in gas prices on Okinawa” Sgt. 1st Class Jon Cupp, an Exchange spokesman, claims it’s because of the strength of the yen against the dollar. Hold on a minute, hasn’t the Exchange been using the concept of basing fuel prices on the weekly U.S. average for the past few years? At least that’s what they’ve advertised in publications and public service announcements.

Well, this sudden change in posture is living proof that the Exchange will deploy any and all tactics at its disposal to gain profit at the military community’s expense.

A quick online search of the Exchange’s mission statement informs all that it provides quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices. Hey Exchange leadership, where’s the competitively low prices in fuel? Seriously, when will the madness stop?

The Exchange’s action is deplorable and I encourage other dissatisfied customers to voice their concerns in hopes the Exchange will hear our cries for justice and right this wrong.

Shawn Curtis

Camp Foster, Okinawa

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