Friend in "Fight" - Colombian CNO Touted for Leadership

13 Dec 2003 | Cpl. Nathan A. Tiller

Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, joined Colombian Navy Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Mauricio Soto Gomez for a full-honors parade Dec. 10 in recognition of the Vice Admiral's admirable performance during his duties for the past few years.After a concert by the Marine Band and 19-gun salute, Vice Admiral Soto, Gen. Hagee and Barracks Executive Officer Lt. Col. Greg L. Hauck "trooped the line" to inspect the Marines. Gen. Hagee then presented Vice Admiral Soto with the Legion of Merit from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.The citation noted Vice Admiral Soto's "exceptional leadership and strategic vision" as being "critical in the transformation of the Colombian Marine Corps into the premier Colombian force in the war on terrorism and illicit drug production and trafficking." Under his leadership, Colombian forces "captured and destroyed more than 200,000 tons of cocaine and 99,000 kilograms of heroin."With friends like Vice Admiral Soto, we can rest easy in the fact that all over the world, Marines are doing their part to preserve justice in every clime and place.