The Pentagon says it opposes a bill to re-designate the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps and deems the name change as "unnecessary," costly and a move that would do nothing to elevate the standing of the Marine Corps, which was the intention of the bill.
In a letter released today by Senate Armed Services Committee chair Sen. Carl Levin's office, Pentagon general counsel Jeh Johnson writes the dissenting opinion:
"The Navy and Marine Corps have been one team led by one Secretary since Benjamin Stoddert was named the first Secretary of the Navy by president Adams in 1798. The tremendous sense of unity and jointness that have been the hallmark of the Navy and Marine Corps team for well over 200 years is unique among the services... A re-designation could be viewed as more than symbolic, and could easily be misinterpreted as a step away from the heritage and tradition of a strong Navy and Marine Corps team."
Of course such a change would also fly in the face of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new initiative to reduce redundant and unnecessary management at the Pentagon.
-- Greg Grant