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Brig. Gen. W. Lee Miller Jr., the acting commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, awards a Marine with his diploma inside the officers club for a graduation ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 2, 2011. The ceremony was held to recognize officers and a few select staff noncommissioned offers for their completion of the Expeditionary Warfare School.

Photo by By Cpl. Johnny Merkley

Service members graduate the Expeditionary Warfare School

2 Jun 2011 | By Cpl. Johnny Merkley

Service members gathered inside the officers' club for a graduation ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 2, 2011.

The ceremony was held to recognize officers and select staff noncommissioned officers for their completion of the Expeditionary Warfare School, which teaches military leaders about different aspects of military related subjects.

To open the ceremony, guest speakers shared their knowledge with the new graduates.

“I think it’s important for our graduates to understand that education is the foundation for positive operational experiences,” said retired Col. Cesare Cardi, the regional coordinator of EWS. “It’s the power that fuels your abilities to meet the challenges the Marine Corps faces during the 21st Century.”

Before receiving their certificates of completion, Brig. Gen. W. Lee Miller Jr., the acting commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, addressed the graduates on the importance of leadership and mission success.

“Step out there and learn from your Marines - talk to them. When you’re teaching, teach a lot of a little vice a little of a lot,” said Miller. “Your Marines joined the Marine Corps to succeed not to fail - know your Marines and their families and take the word ‘I’ out of your vocabulary, its ‘we’.”

Upon completion of Miller's speech, he proceeded to hand out the diplomas to the graduate’s one at a time.

“Remember, your mission comes first, but your Marines and sailors come always,” said Miller. “Congratulations, a job well done to each of you, use these skills wisely, God bless and Semper Fi.”

When all had received their certificates, the room was called to attention and the playing of the Marines' Hymn marked the end of the ceremony.

“I’m glad that I graduated and finished the process, but I also understand that education is continuing,” said Capt. Josh Phares, the operations officer for Advanced Infantry Training Battalion East. “This is just another phase. It’s now on to learning something else and something more. The opportunity to be able to interact with my peers and Marines over the last two years has been very beneficial and has definitely been worth the experience.”