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Tribute to Jay Anderson

Jay Anderson recently completed his tour as Commandant of THOR Detachment #606.  Jay led us through some difficult times.  Jim Phillips, THOR's Senior Vice Commandant, wrote an exceptional tribute to Jay and we felt compelled to share it with all of you.

A tribute to Commandant Jay Anderson, Thor Detachment, USMC League, by Jim Phillips, 27 November 2012


The Detachment Commandant is the most important office in the Marine Corps League, because it accounts for membership levels, programs and manner in which the League is viewed by Marines, members and prospective members, and citizens of the community. The Detachment and the entire League will be successful with effective leadership in this office.

Our Thor member, Jay Anderson, volunteered for a difficult assignment when he accepted this position of Commandant. He took the helm of a sinking ship, heavy with a recent burden of poor leadership. When nobody else would, Jay accepted the task, taking an oath of office that he lived by, stood up to the challenge and brought honor back to the Detachment and MC League.

Shared experience and personal sacrifice are reasons the Marine Corps is a Band of Brothers, and it is the reason we recognize Jay today. It is the feeling we have that something greater than us has been accomplished within this organization. Because of Jay’s leadership, sacrifice, dedication and Marine way, we can once again hold our head high and say that The Corps is our family, from which we can never leave, and are always welcome back.

For a lot of reasons the rest of us sat back, while Jay looked out for the group, and pushed beyond any limit the rest of us could have achieved. He showed us what pride and accomplishment looks like though his spirit and self-discipline. While doing that, he demonstrated for us the ingredients of Character, which are: integrity, selflessness and moral courage. And it is clear he learned and decided to practice the Corps Values of: honor, courage and commitment. He held this Marine Spirit for us so that once again we can all say:   we are proud to be Marines.

The magnitude of Jay’s achievements during his tenure as Commandant became very apparent to us now that his tenure is complete. He did not serve for glory and certainly not financial rewards. He, like all Marines, served because of his dedication to the Nation and to doing the right thing. And, we thank him for doing the right things at the right times.

But what GEN. WILLIAM THORNSON, US ARMY (l956) said about Marines, might be the most appropriate when he said: “U.S. Marines are the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a gang of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest sons of bitches I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, the United States Marines I've come in contact with are the most professional soldiers and the finest men and women I have ever had the pleasure to meet...”

Jay: We are directed to “give honor to whom honor is due” and so today we have good reason to obey and so give you the honor you deserve.

Thank You and Semper Fi!