Even though I am an Army Officer, I have served with General Neller. For a period he was the Deputy J3 in EUCOM. It was in that position I started referring to him as Smiling Bob. As he always has a dour expression but is funny as hell.
Today he was dour and was not laughing. He had to endure the question of the right honorable lady from New York, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She was upset over the recent photo scandal involving female Marines.
General Neller displayed great restraint and leadership. He acknowledge he was responsible. He showed great restraint in not ripping the good Senator’s head off and shitting down the hole. Her line of questioning was out of place.
“This is a problem with our culture,” Neller responded. “I don’t have a good answer for you. I’m not going to sit here and duck around this thing. I’m not. I’m responsible. I’m the Commandant. I own this, and we’re going to have to change how we see ourselves and how we treat each other. That’s a lame answer, but ma’am, that’s the best I can tell you right now. We’ve got to change, and that’s on me.”
She has a right to be upset, but damnit give the USMC the time to get to the bottom of the story. While everyone wants someones head, General Neller and his Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps are not the heads you need to hoist on a spear head.
I have great confidence that General Neller will get the answers and take the right and proper actions of keel hauling the offending members of the Corps under the USS Gerald Ford.
Besmirching the honor of the Corps is not something General Neller or his Sergeant Major take lightly.