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Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, gives a speech at The Basic School’s Alpha Company Mess Night on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, April 27, 2022. Del Toro took part in the traditions and festivities of mess night and talked to the Marines about what it means to be a good leader. (US Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kayla LaMar)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kayla LaMar

Secretary of the Navy motivates newly commissioned Marine Corps officers at mess night

3 May 2022 | Lance Cpl. Kayla LaMar Marine Corps Base Quantico

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro joined newly commissioned Marine Corps officers with The Basic School’s Alpha Company for a mess night at Lopez Hall on Camp Barrett, April 27, 2022.

Following the Marines’ significant number of fines and trips to the grog, issued by the president of the mess, Del Toro took to the stage to emphasize the importance of good leadership and caring for Marines. 

“I pledged that I would think carefully about the decisions that I make as the Secretary of the Navy,” Del Toro said, “and my ability to persuade others to make hard decisions at the Pentagon, and around the globe, because the decisions we make as leaders have impact on people’s lives.”

Del Toro congratulated the new officers and wished them success. He expressed what it means to be a good leader and encouraged them to look out for each other and the Marines under them.

“The decisions that every single one of you make as leaders, when you walk out of these hallowed grounds, will have an impact on the men and women that you proudly will serve,” said Del Toro, “and yes you serve them, they do not serve you. It’s your responsibility to set the standard.”

More than 100 second lieutenants attended the event to strengthen their unit camaraderie. The mess night concluded with toasts to all Marines of the past and the floor being opened for Marines to smoke cigars and socialize; embracing all the traditions that come with mess night. 

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