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Posted: 10/12/2004 7:52:28 AM EST
From Blackwater.
www.blackwaterusa.com/btw2004/articles/1011mess.html



CHARLIE COMPANY, TBS MESS NIGHT

GUEST OF HONOR REMARKS
BY
COLONEL JAMES. M. LOWE
COMMANDER, MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO

FROM THAT ELEGANT INTRODUCTION, YOU MAY OR NOT HAVE PICKED UP ON THE
FACT THAT I HAVE HAD 5 TOURS IN MARINE DIVISIONS, SERVING IN ALL 4
DIVISIONS AND 3D MARDIV TWICE. I HAVE MADE 8 MARINE EXPEDITIONARY
UNIT DEPLOYMENTS, SERVED WITH THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND HAVE
BEEN TO EVERY LEVEL OF PME POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO HONE MY WARFIGHTING
SKILLS. UTILIZING YOUR GREAT DEDUCTIVE ABILITIES, INTELLECT AND
EXPERIENCE AS LIEUTENANTS, YOU SHOULD HAVE QUESTIONED THE CORPS
COLLECTIVE JUDGMENT WHEN THEY DECIDED TO MAKE ME A BASE COMMANDER! I
SURE AS HELL DID AND I STILL DO! LOOK UP "BASE" IN THE DICTIONARY!
ACCORDING TO MR. WEBSTER.... "LOWEST PART OR BOTTOM. HAVING OR
SHOWING LITTLE OR NO HONOR, COURAGE OR DECENCY; MEAN; IGNOBLE;
CONTEMPTIBLE; MENIAL OR DEGRADING; INFERIOR IN QUALITY; OF COMPARATIVE
LOW WORTH". SO..... AFTER 28 YEARS OF FOCUSING ON LOCATING,
CLOSING WITH AND DESTROYING, I'VE GOT THAT GOING FOR ME! THAT'S
OK! GO AHEAD AND LAUGH! THERE IS AT LEAST ONE FUTURE BASE
COMMANDER SITTING AMONG YOU RIGHT NOW!

SERIOUSLY, I AM HONORED TO RETURN TO THE BASIC SCHOOL AS YOUR GUEST, AT
THIS, ONE OF OUR MOST TIME HONORED TRADITIONS. I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO
SPEAK ON MY INSIGHTS AND EXPERIENCES AS A LEADER OF MARINES.
BASICALLY, I TOLD TO TALK ABOUT WHAT I HAVE LEARNED OVER THE LAST 28
YEARS OF LEADING MARINES. WELL, I HAVE ONLY LEARNED EIGHT THINGS AND
IT WILL ONLY TAKE ME ABOUT 60 SECONDS TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU. NOW
THAT I THINK OF IT, IF I HAD BEEN INVITED TO SPEAK TO YOU THE DAY
CHARLIE COMPANY FORMED UP, I COULD HAVE PROBABLY SAVED YOU SIX MONTHS OF
TBS TRAINING. I THOUGHT I WOULD GET THIS STRUCTURED PORTION OUT OF
THE WAY UP FRONT SO I COULD TALK ABOUT ANYTHING I WANT TO, SO HERE
GOES....

SEEK BRILLIANCE IN THE BASICS, ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING... AND HAVE
A PLAN TO KILL EVERYONE YOU MEET.
IF YOU ARE RIDING AT THE HEAD OF THE HERD, LOOK BACK EVERY NOW AND THEN
AND MAKE SURE IT IS STILL THERE.
NEVER ENTER AN HOUR LONG FIREFIGHT WITH 5 MINUTES OF AMMO.
THIS ONE IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF YOU BORN NORTH OF WASHINGTON,
DC. NEVER, NEVER KICK A COW CHIP ON A HOT DAY.
IF YOU'RE NOT SHOOTING, I CAN SEE BY YOUR MARKSMANSHIP BADGES THAT SOME
OF YOU ARE CHALLENGED IN THIS AREA, YOU BETTER BE COMMUNICATING OR
RELOADING FOR ANOTHER MARINE.
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF LEADERS. THOSE WHO LEARN FROM READING, THOSE
WHO LEARN FROM OBSERVATION, AND THOSE WHO STILL HAVE TO TOUCH THE
ELECTRIC FENCE TO GET THE MESSAGE.
ANYTHING WORTH SHOOTING IS WORTH SHOOTING TWICE. AMMO IS CHEAP.
AND FINALLY, YOU MIGHT WANT TO WRITE THIS ONE DOWN.... NEVER SLAP A
GROWN MAN WHO HAS A MOUTH FULL OF CHEWING TOBACCO

NOW THAT I'VE PUT THAT CHECK IN "PROPER MILITARY INSTRUCTION" BLOCK, ARE
THERE ANY QUESTIONS? OF COURSE NOT! WHAT A STUPID QUESTION TO ASK
A BUNCH OF LIEUTENANTS SO CLOSE TO GRADUATION! NOW THAT I THINK OF
IT, MY TBS CLASS STOPPED ASKING QUESTIONS AFTER THE FIRST TWO WEEKS.

I HAVE A FEW MINUTES LEFT, SO LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING I LIKE,
MARINES. UP FRONT, LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I ADMIRE YOU. WHY IS
THAT? UNLIKE THE VAST MAJORITY OF YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, YOU STEPPED
FORWARD AND COMMITTED YOURSELF TO A GREATER CAUSE WITHOUT CONCERN FOR
YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY OR COMFORT. AND YOU DID IT KNOWING THAT YOU
WOULD GAIN NOTHING IN RETURN.... EXCEPT THE HONOR AND CHERISHED
PRIVILEGE OF EARNING THE TITLE OF "MARINE OFFICER".

INDIVIDUALLY, YOU ARE AS DIFFERENT AS APPLIES AND ORANGES, BUT YOU ARE
LINKED FOR ETERNITY BY THE TITLE "MARINE".... AND THE FACT THAT YOU
ARE PART OF THE FINEST FIGHTING FORCE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED IN HISTORY.

IF YOU HAVEN'T PICKED UP ON IT... I LIKE BEING A MARINE AND I LIKE
BEING AROUND MARINES. LIKE MOST OF YOU ARE PROBABLY THINKING, I CAME
INTO THE CORPS TO DO FOUR YEARS AND FOUR YEARS ONLY. BUT A STRANGE
HAPPENED. I WAS HAVING SO MUCH FUN THAT I SIMPLY FORGOT TO GET
OUT. HELL, AT THIS POINT, I AM THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT MAKING THE
CORPS A CAREER! SO WHAT IS THAT I LIKE ABOUT MARINES? THIS IS THE
EASY PART!

I LIKE THE FACT THAT YOU ALWAYS KNOW WERE YOU STAND WITH A MARINE!
WITH MARINES, THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND OR GRAY AREA. THERE ARE ONLY
MISSIONS, OBJECTIVES AND FACTS.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT IF YOU ARE A SELF-DECLARED ENEMY OF AMERICA, THAT
RUNNING INTO A MARINE OUTFIT IN COMBAT IS YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE....
AND THAT YOUR HEALTH RECORD IS ABOUT TO GET A LOT THICKER OR BE CLOSED
OUT ENTIRELY!

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES ARE STEADFAST AND CONSISTENT IN EVERYTHING
THEY DO.... REGARDLESS IF YOU AGREE WITH THEM OR NOT;

THAT MARINES HOLD THE TERM "POLITICALLY CORRECT" WITH NOTHING BUT PURE
DISDAIN;

THAT MARINES STAND TALL AND RIGID IN THEIR ACTIONS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS
WHEN OTHERS BEND WITH THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND AND ARE AS CONFUSED AS A
DOG LOOKING AT A CEILING FAN!

I LIKE THE FACT THAT EACH AND EVERY MARINE CONSIDERS THE HONOR AND
LEGACY OF THE CORPS AS HIS PERSONAL AND SACRED TRUST TO PROTECT AND
DEFEND.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MOST CIVILIANS DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT MAKES US
TICK!..... AND THAT'S NOT A BAD THING. BECAUSE IF THEY DID, IT
WOULD SCARE THE HELL OUT OF THEM!

I LIKE THE FACT THAT OTHERS SAY THEY WANT TO BE LIKE US, BUT DON'T HAVE
WHAT IT TAKES IN THE "PAIN-GAIN-PRIDE" DEPARTMENT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT THE MARINES CAME INTO BEING IN A BAR, TUN TAVERN,
AND THAT MARINES STILL GATHER IN PUBS, BARS AND SLOP CHUTES TO SHARE SEA
STORIES AND HOT SCOOP.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES DO NOT CONSIDER IT A COINCIDENCE THAT THERE
ARE 24 HOURS IN A DAY AND 24 BEERS IN A CASE. BECAUSE MARINES KNOW
THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS!

I LIKE OUR MOTTO... SEMPER FIDELIS... AND THE FACT THAT WE DON'T
SHED IT WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE BATTLEFIELD GETS DEADLY OR WHEN
WE HANG UP OUR UNIFORM FOR THE LAST TIME.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER... IN COMBAT AND
IN TIME OF PEACE.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES CONSIDER THE TERM "MARINES TAKE CARE OF
THEIR OWN" AS MEANING WE WILL GIVE UP OUR VERY LIFE FOR OUR FELLOW
MARINES, IF NECESSARY.

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "CHICKEN SALAD"
AND "CHICKEN S---" AND AREN'T AFRAID TO CALL EITHER FOR WHAT IT IS!

I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES HAVE NEVER FAILED THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA AND
THAT WE DON'T USE THE WORDS "CAN'T", "RETREAT", OR "LOSE".

I LIKE THE FACT THAT THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA HOLD MARINES IN THE HIGHEST
ESTEEM AND THAT THEY KNOW THAT THEY CAN COUNT OF US TO LOCATE, CLOSE
WITH AND DESTROY THOSE WHO WOULD HARM THEM!

I LIKE MARINES... AND BEING AROUND MARINES.

-I LIKE THE FACT THAT A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AN ELECTED MEMBER OF
CONGRESS FELT COMPELLED TO PUBLICLY ACCUSE THE MARINE CORPS OF BEING
"RADICAL AND EXTREME".

-I LIKE THE FACT THAT OUR COMMANDANT INFORMED THAT MEMBER OF CONGRESS
THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT AND THAT HE PASSED ONLY HIS THANKS FOR
THE COMPLIMENT.

-I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINE LEADERS --- OF EVERY RANK--- KNOW THAT
ISSUING EVERY MAN AND WOMAN A BLACK BERET --- OR POKLA-DOTTED BOXER
SHORTS FOR THAT MATTER--- DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO PROMOTE MORALE,
FIGHTING SPIRIT OR COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS.

-I LIKE THE FACT THAT MARINES ARE MARINES FIRST... REGARDLESS OF AGE,
RACE, CREED, COLOR, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN OR HOW LONG THEY SERVED OR WHAT
GOALS THEY ACHIEVE IN LIFE!

LET ME GIVE YOU ONE EXAMPLE: A YOUNG MAN ENLISTS IN THE NAVY IN WWI.
WHEN THE WAR IS OVER, HE SHIPS OVER AND JOINS THE ARMY. HE NEXT
ENLISTED IN THE MARINE CORPS AND SERVED FROM 1920-1922. THERE WAS NO
AIR FORCE BACK THEN, SO I GUESS HE FELT HE HAD PUT ALL THE CHECKS IN THE
BLOCK! WHEN HE SERVED OUT HIS TIME IN THE CORPS, HE WENT AFTER AN
EDUCATION: RECEIVING VARIOUS DEGREES IN ENGINEERING, HISTORY AND
POLITICAL SCIENCE FROM UCLA AND MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY. HE ENTER
POLITICS AND SERVED FOR 11 YEARS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
NEXT HE TACKLED THE SENATE WHERE HE SERVED FOR 24 YEARS, AS BOTH THE
DEMOCRATIC WHIP AND LATER AS THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER. HE WAS THEN
APPOINTED AS THE AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN WHERE HE SERVED FOR 11 YEARS.
THIS GENTLEMAN WENT FROM SNUFFY TO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL
PROMINENCE... AND WHEN HE PASSED AWAY IN 2001, HE WAS RIGHTLY BURIED
IN ARLINGTON. IF YOU WANT TO VISIT HIS GRAVE, DON'T LOOK FOR HIM NEAR
THE KENNEDY ETERNAL FLAME WHERE SO MANY OF OUR POLITICAL LEADERS ARE
LAID TO REST. LOOK FOR A SMALL, COMMON MARKER SHARED BY THE MAJORITY
OF OUR HEROES.... LOOK FOR THE MARKER THAT SAYS "MICHAEL J.
MANSFIELD... PFC... U. S. MARINE CORPS..... YOU SEE, SENATOR
MIKE MANSFIELD.... LIKE EACH OF US GATHERED HERE TONIGHT... WAS MORE
PROUD OF BEING A MARINE, THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN HIS INCREDIBLE LIFE OF
NATIONAL SERVICE.

THERE IS ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED FOR SURE OVER THE LAST 28
YEARS......THE YEARS FLY BY, NAMES CHANGE, THE WEAPONS AND THE GEAR
CHANGES, POLITICAL LEADERS AND AGENDAS CHANGE, NATIONAL PRIORITIES AND
BUDGETS CHANGE, THE THREATS TO OUR NATION CHANGE.... BUT THROUGH IT
ALL, THERE IS ONE ABIDING CONSTANT ---- THE BASIC ISSUE, DO-OR-DIE
MARINE.

HE OR SHE WILL DO DAMN NEAR ANYTHING ASKED OF THEM, UNDER TERRIBLE
CONDITIONS, WITH BETTER RESULTS AND FEWER COMPLAINTS THAN ANY CIVILIZED
HUMAN BEING SHOULD HAVE REASON TO EXPECT. AND WE.... WE WHO HAVE
THE PRIVILEGE TO SERVE THEM AND LEAD THEM, MAKE OUR PLANS AND EXECUTE
CRUCIAL MISSIONS BASED PRIMARILY ON ONE FACT OF LIFE.... THAT THE
BASIC MARINE WILL NOT FAIL HIS COUNTRY, HIS CORPS AND HIS FELLOW
MARINES... THAT THEY WILL OVERCOME ANY THREAT.... IF ALLOWED TO DO
SO.

THINK ABOUT THAT AND REMEMBER THAT FOR 228 YEARS IT HAS WORKED AND IT
HAS KEPT THE WOLF AWAY FROM AMERICA'S DOOR.

I LIKE MARINES, BECAUSE BEING A MARINE IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. WE'RE NOT
A SOCIAL CLUB OR A FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION AND WE DON'T PRETEND TO BE
ONE. WE'RE A BROTHERHOOD OF "WARRIORS" -- NOTHING MORE, NOTHING
LESS, PURE AND SIMPLE.

WE ARE IN THE ASS-KICKING BUSINESS, AND UNFORTUNATELY, THESE DAYS
BUSINESS IS GOOD. BUT DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT. WHAT YOU NEED TO
REMEMBER IS THAT THE MERE ASSOCIATION OF THE WORD "MARINE" WITH A CRISIS
IS AN AUTOMATIC SOURCE OF CONFIDENCE TO AMERICA, AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO
ALL NATIONS WHO STAND WITH US.

AS MARINES, OUR MESSAGE TO OUR FOES HAS ALWAYS BEEN ESSENTIALLY THE
SAME. "WE OWN THIS SIDE OF THE STREET! THREATEN MY COUNTRY OR OUR
ALLIES AND WE WILL COME OVER TO YOUR SIDE OF THE STREET, BURN YOUR HUT
DOWN, WHISPER IN YOUR EAR "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?",..... AND THEN SECURE
YOUR HEART BEAT.

NOW I MUST TELL YOU THAT I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW YOUR MOS
ASSIGNMENTS. I REMEMBER THAT TIME IN MY LIFE WELL AS A REAL GROUP
TIGHTENER! REGARDLESS OF WHAT MOS YOU NOW HAVE, IF YOU DON'T ALREADY
KNOW IT, BEING A LEADER OF MARINES IS ABOUT AS MUCH FUN AS YOU CAN
LEGALLY HAVE WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON!

AND THAT'S TRUE REGARDLESS IF YOU ARE A GRUNT, DATADINK, SPARKCHASER,
STEWBURNER, WIREDOG, BUTTPLATE, REMINGTON RAIDER, ROTORHEAD, LEGAL
BEAGLE, FAST STICK, CANNON COCKER, TRACK HEAD, SKIVVIE STACKER, DUAL
FOOL OR A BOXKICKER. AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT... YOU WILL!
TRUST ME!

WHY IS THAT? BECAUSE EACH US FOUGHT TO GAIN THE COVETED TITLE...
MARINE. IT WASN'T GIVEN TO US.... WE EARNED IT. AND ON THE DAY
WE FINALLY BECAME MARINES, AN ETERNAL FLAME OF DEVOTION AND FIERCE PRIDE
WAS IGNITED IN OUR SOULS.

CHARLIE COMPANY, LET'S NOT FOOL OURSELVES. YOU KNOW IT AND I KNOW
IT. YOU HAVE SOME CHALLENGING TIMES AND EMOTIONAL EVENTS AHEAD OF
YOU. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT TOMORROW MORNING'S HEADACHE. I AM
TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE WORLD IS A DANGEROUS PLACE AND AS
LEADERS OF MARINES, YOU WILL BE WALKING POINT ON WORLD EVENTS.

MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THAT FLAME THAT I MENTIONED EARLIER BURNING
BRIGHTLY. IT WILL KEEP YOU WARM WHEN TIMES ARE HARD. IT WILL PROVIDE
LIGHT IN THE DARKEST OF NIGHTS. USE IT AND DRAW STRENGTH FROM IT.
...... AS GENERATIONS OF LEATHERNECKS HAVE DONE SINCE OUR BEGINNING.

BEFORE PCS'ING TO QUANTICO, I COMPLETED A 24-MONTH TOUR WITH THE 31ST
MEU ABOARD THE USS ESSEX. SOME OF THE MARINES HERE TONIGHT WERE WITH
ME.... LIKE BEAK VEST, RUDY WHALEN AND FLOUNDER FOLEY. THE ESSEX
IS A GREAT SHIP AND ONE OF SIX TO BARE THAT NAME IN DEFENSE OF OUR
NATION. IN 1813, THE FIRST ESSEX WAS COMMANDED BY A TOUGH SKIPPER
NAMED CAPT DAVID PORTER. BY ALL ACCOUNTS, CAPT PORTER WAS THE TYPE
MAN YOU DID NOT WANT TO SEE AT CAPTAIN'S MAST. HE WAS TOUGH, BUT HE
WAS A TRUE WARRIOR. ON ONE PARTICULAR MISSION, THE ESSEX WAS ORDERED
TO SAIL ALONE TO THE PACIFIC AND ATTACK GREAT BRITAIN'S PACIFIC WHALING
FLEET. OBVIOUSLY, CAPTAIN PORTER KNEW THE FLEET WAS WELL-GUARDED BY
BRITISH MEN-OF-WAR AND HE KNEW HIS JOB WOULD BE A TOUGH ONE AND THAT HE
WOULD BE SEVERELY OUT GUNNED IN HIS TASK. PRIOR TO SAILING, CAPT
PORTER ADDRESSED THE ASSEMBLED CREW OF SAILORS AND MARINES ON THE DECK
AND EXPLAINED THE TASK AT HAND. HE ASKED FOR VOLUNTEERS ONLY AND TOLD
HIS MEN TO TAKE "SEVEN STEPS FORWARD" IF THEY WOULD WILLINGLY GO IN
HARMS WAY WITH HIM. HE THEN TURNED HIS BACK AND WAITED. AFTER A
FEW MOMENTS, HE TURNED TO FACE HIS CREW AND NOTICED NO HOLES IN THE
RANKS. THE RANKS LOOKS JUST AS THEY HAD AND NOT A SINGLE MARINE OR
SAILOR STOOD TO THE FRONT OF THE FORMATION. IT IS REPORTED THAT HE
WENT ON A TIRADE AND SCREAMED "WHAT IS THIS? NOT A SINGLE VOLUNTEER
AMONG YOU?" WITH THIS, AN AIDE LEANED OVER AND WHISPERED IN PORTER'S
EAR, "SIR, THE WHOLE LINE HAS STEPPED FORWARD 7 PACES."

I THINK OF THIS STORY OFTEN. AND WHEN I DO, I THINK OF MARINES LIKE
YOU. CHARLIE COMPANY... ON BEHALF OF THE GENERATIONS OF MARINE
LIEUTENANTS WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE YOU, THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE "7 STEPS
FORWARD", THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE OF COUNTRY,.... THANK YOU FOR YOUR
LIFE-LONG COMMITMENT AS A UNITED STATES MARINE.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE WONDERING, "AM I UP TO IT?" FORGET IT.
YOU WILL BE MAGNIFICENT, JUST AS MARINE OFFICERS ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. I
REALIZE THAT MANY OF YOUR YOUNG MARINES ARE GOING TO BE "BEEN THERE,
DONE THAT" WARRIORS AND THAT THEY WILL WEAR THE DECORATIONS TO PROVE
IT. BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW, THAT THEY RESPECT YOU AND ADMIRE YOU....
YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THEY WANT AND NEED YOUR LEADERSHIP. ALL YOU
HAVE TO DO IS NEVER FAIL THEM IN THIS REGARD AND EVERYTHING WILL TURNOUT
GREAT. HOLD UP YOUR END OF THE BARGAIN AND THEY WILL NOT FAIL.

I AM PRETTY SURE I CAN SPEAK FOR THE ENTIRE GROUP OF DISTINGUISHED GUEST
HERE TONIGHT WHEN I SAY, "WE ADMIRE YOU AND WOULD TRADE PLACES WITH YOU
IN A MINUTE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN." SOOOOO.... IF YOU'RE
INTERESTING IN GIVING UP A PLATOON IN ORDER TO BE A BASE COMMANDER, SEE
ME AT THE BAR!

ONE LAST THING.... WHEN YOU CHECK INTO YOUR FIRST UNIT AND START THE
FANTASTIC VOYAGE THAT ONLY MARINES WILL EVER KNOW.... KICK SOME
SERIOUS ASS.... BECAUSE IT IS A FULL TIME JOB AND THERE IS A LOT OF
THAT ACTIVITY THAT MUST OCCUR FOR AMERICA AND HER ALLIES TO SURVIVE.

"LONG LIVE THE UNITED STATES... AND SUCCESS TO THE MARINES


Link Posted: 10/12/2004 7:54:41 AM EST
dupe
good one though
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 8:05:30 AM EST
OO-muthafuckin-RAH
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