Opening Statement of U.S. Senator Jack Reed

Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee


Room SH-216

Hart Senate Office Building

Thursday, July 23, 2015


To receive testimony on the nomination of

Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller to be Commandant of the Marine Corps

(As Prepared for Delivery)

I want to join Senator McCain in welcoming Lieutenant General Neller to this confirmation hearing regarding his nomination to be the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps.  General Neller, welcome to the Armed Services Committee and thank you for your many years of extraordinary service to our nation, and for your willingness to continue to serve.  We are mindful that families also serve, so we should extend our thanks to your family for their dedication and support, which is so critical to any official’s success.   

General Neller has an exemplary record of service and is highly qualified for the position to which he has been nominated.   He has commanded Marines from the platoon-level to the division-level, and he is currently the Commander, Marine Corps Forces Command and Commander, Marine Corps Force Europe.  Before this current assignment, he also commanded U.S. Marine Corps Forces for Central Command. 

General Neller, as Commandant of the Marine Corps, you will be tasked with recruiting and retaining a quality force, and ensuring that force contains the necessary structure and readiness levels to meet our nation’s current challenges and the posture to respond to tomorrow’s crises and contingencies. These responsibilities are demanding enough on their own; however, you will also be asked to assume control at a time of immense fiscal challenge, particularly because of sequestration.  I hope we can discuss a number of these challenges this morning  

Thank you again for your service to our nation.  We look forward to your swift confirmation.