Veterans Day Ceremony

Saturday, November 11, 2017 – 11 a.m. Free admission from 10 a.m. – Noon

Take time to honor all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during this special event. The program will include special music, guest speakers, and recognition of all veterans. Guests are asked to bring their own chair. The latest installment of veteran bricks will also be dedicated.

Keynote address by LtGen Robert R. Blackman Jr., USMC (Ret), President and CEO, Marine Corp Heritage Foundation

About the speaker:
Lieutenant General Blackman was commissioned as Marine Corps officer upon graduation from Cornell University in June 1970. After completing The Basic School, he served as a platoon commander and company executive officer in 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. In March 1972, he reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, where he served as a series commander and Director of the Sea School until July 1975. Following Amphibious Warfare School, Lieutenant General Blackman served as S-3A and a rifle company commander in 3d Battalion, 1st Marines. Assigned to the 3d Marine Division in January 1980, he served as the S-3 for 2d Battalion, 4th Marines.

Lieutenant General Blackman served as the Plans Officer in the Officer Assignment Branch at Headquarters Marine Corps. After graduation from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in June 1985, he was assigned to the Air-Ground Exchange Program with MAG-26 where he served as the S-3A and S-3. He reported to the 2d Marine Division in June 1987 and was assigned as the Executive Officer of the 8th Marines. In May 1988, he assumed command of 3d Battalion, 8th Marines. Following the return of BLT 3/8 from a Mediterranean deployment with the 22nd MEU, he was assigned to Top Level School as a Fellow in National Security Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In August 1990, Lieutenant General Blackman was assigned to the Operations Division at Headquarters Marine Corps. From there he was assigned as the G-3 Operations Officer for COMMARCENT (Forward) in Southwest Asia. Upon return to CONUS in March 1991, he was reassigned as Head, Current Operations Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps. In July 1991, Lieutenant General Blackman reported to U.S. Central Command for duty as the Commander in Chief’s Executive Officer. In August 1993, he assumed command of the 15th MEU. Upon completion of his tour with the MEU in March 1995, he assumed duties as the Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. In August 1996, he was assigned as the President of the Marine Corps University. He was promoted to brigadier general on October 1, 1996.

In July 1998, he was assigned as the Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He commanded the 2nd Marine Division from June 1999 to July 2001. Upon arrival at USCENTCOM in August of 2001, he assumed duties as Director, Resources and Assessment, J8, United States Central Command MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. In October 2002, Lieutenant General was assigned as the Chief of Staff for Coalition Forces Land Component Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lieutenant General Blackman served as the Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force; Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Japan; and Commander, Marine Forces Japan from 2003 to 2005. He then assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command; U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe; U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South; U.S. Marine Corps Bases, Atlantic; U.S. Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic; and U.S. Fleet Marine Force, Europe, until his retirement in 2007. After leaving active service, Lieutenant General Blackman worked with Marine Corps’ Marine Air-Ground Task Force Staff Training Program. He was named President and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation in 2011.