I watched Gen. Amos in this same venue yesterday and offer the following observations.
– The NPC President gave the introduction but it was not a standard “he is the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps”; rather, she married news events into the intro. (e.g. …As II MEF Commander, he took possession of the MV22 Osprey, the sometimes controversial tilt-rotor aircraft…soon after becoming Commandant, Amos became mired in the culture wars when he became an outspoken opponent of the repeal of DADT…and next month, the most male and arguably the most macho of the armed services will enroll women into the Infantry Officer School in Quantico…more troubling is bad behavior that suggests a breakdown in the discipline of the Corps….)
– Gen. Amos was either very well-prepared for this or just really good on his feet. His response, “After that introduction, I am reminded of my early days in Idaho. In the spring, we round up all the bulls and heffers born the previous year and you’d gather them all together and some pretty unseemly things would happen to the young bulls. And it would all end up with one humiliating act with a red-hot branding iron. Then we’d wish them farewell and good day as we launched them out across the prairie. As I look out at the audience, I kind of feel like that young bull that you’ve launched…
– Gen Amos kept his introductory remarks short “to get to your question.” He delivered about five minutes of remarks about his visits to Afghanistan, Asia, and concluded with why we need the MC. And yes, he did bring up Guadalcanal calling it a “spiritual experience.”
While PA has the lead on this, it seems to me that in addition to the opening statement, perhaps we should generate a similarly disarming response should the introduction be as blistering as what met Gen. Amos. It would be counterproductive to get into angry-Irish mode at the start of the event… Perhaps something about airborne training and getting shoved out of the back of the plane? Is there an armor equivalent to the “bull”?