4 February 2005

The Honorable Walter B. Jones
United States Representative
422 Cannon House Office Building
, D. C. 20515

Dear Representative Jones:

The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) strongly advocates the adoption of your proposal to change the title of Secretary of the Navy to Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps (H.R. 34). Marines have always been admired for their dedication and loyalty to the Nation. The continued participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom proves again the Corps merits recognition as a separate military department with its own Secretary. However, in view of the Navy-Marine Corps concept and the extraordinary expense of establishing a separate entity, the most reasonable solution would be to change the title of Secretary of the Navy to Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps.

The Corps has filled a unique niche in the Nation’s history not duplicated by any of the other armed services. It provides exceptional and exclusive capabilities in concert with its sister services, in war and in peace. As the second most senior armed service, the Marine Corps should receive the honor it truly deserves - equitable distinction among the military departments in the U.S. defense structure.

Recognizing the Corps as an equal partner in a new Department of the Navy and Marine Corps gives the Marines the distinction and esteem they truly deserve. FRA applauds your commitment to this proposal, and will continue working with you and your staff on its advancement.

National Executive Secretary