February 19th marks 75 years since the amphibious assault began on the island of Iwo Jima in the final year of World War II. With a strategically important landing strip, the island of Iwo Jima represented a critical part of the Pacific island-hopping campaign. In the days leading up to the land assault, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Air Corps conducted naval bombardments and air raids. 70,000 Marines, Sailors, soldiers, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen swept onto the island on 19 February 1945. As 3 Marine divisions charged onto the island, it became evident that the enemy was well-fortified in miles of underground tunnels. On the fourth day, The Battle for Iwo Jima became an iconic part of American history as Marines raised the flag atop Mount Suribachi. Years later, the hard fought battle that was waged for 36 days would spur Admiral Chester Nimitz to remark that “uncommon valor was a common virtue.” This was made even more evident by the 22 Marines and 5 Navy Corpsmen who earned the Medal of Honor for bravery during the battle. We should all pause to remember and honor the legacy they forged, as our nation pays tribute to our “greatest generation.” I want Commanders across the force to hold a one-time commemoration that occurs within the 36 days of the Battle of Iwo Jima from 19 February to 26 March. ALMAR 02-20 describes how we will pause across the force, and remember the service and sacrifices of our WWII Veterans and their families. The battlefields may change, but the spirit instilled in every Marine of every generation remains the same. The power of today’s Navy-Marine Corps team remains the same. We get there, we fight and we win. I believe that Secretary of the Navy Forrestal was right when he stated “The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.” We owe a debt of gratitude to all who serve and sacrifice. Thank you to all our World War II Veterans. Semper Fidelis, Marines.