The feud between Marine congressman Rep. Duncan Hunter and Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus intensified yesterday after Hunter sent a letter to the Pentagon calling for it to fire Mabus.
Hunter and Mabus have clashed ever since the navy secretary announced that the Marine Corps would accept women into its infantry despite the service’s wishes. Hunter, a former Marine himself, felt that Mabus was disrespecting the Marine Corps by ignoring the conclusions of its 9-month study of female infantryman.
Mabus’ recent memo that the Marine Corps must integrate boot camp was the last straw. The Marine congressman now wants Mabus gone for good.
“Unfortunately, the only way this relationship can be repaired, I believe, is through the leadership of a new Navy secretary — specifically one who does not regularly make a point to undercut the Marine Corps, distract its mission and insult its leaders,” Hunter wrote to the Pentagon.
This letter follows several op-eds and interviews featuring Hunter and his condemnation of Mabus’ handling of the Marine Corps.
“These changes that they’re making are not thought out, they’re not researched, they’ve not been debated,” Hunter told POLITICO. “The American public has no idea what’s going on. It’s going to get people killed.”
Meanwhile, Mabus spent Wednesday unveiling the Great Green Fleet. During a question and answer session, Mabus responded to Hunter’s letter with derision.
“Look, I’ve got that letter framed. That’s one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever gotten,” Mabus said with a chuckle.
Hunter’s office was not pleased with this response. “This is about the Marine Corps and not politics,” Hunter’s chief of staff Joe Kasper said. “What Mabus is trying to do is effectively diminish the fighting capability of Marines.”