UPDATE, Aug. 8, 8 p.m.: The White House has fixed the transcript online. See it here.
President Obama addressed a crowd of about 3,000 Marines, sailors and military family members at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and the speech went off without any major hitches. There was no major gaffe, for example, like mistakenly saying Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was alive to receive his Medal of Honor.
In fact, the president’s speech was short on details, but hit on a lot of meat-and-potato issues. He correctly named Marjah, Sangin and Now Zad as districts in which Marines have faced fierce combat in recent years. He promised efforts to make sure veterans get jobs. And he honored Capt. Matthew Lampert, an officer in Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command who lost both legs in combat, then recovered to deploy to Afghanistan again.
There’s a problem, however. The White House transcript of the speech is out, and there’s an issue with it that will rub many Marines the wrong way. Here’s the beginning:
12:45 P.M. PDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Marines! (Hoorah!) Hello, Camp Pendleton! (Hoorah!) It is great to be here, at the home of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force — (hoorah!) — and one of our nation’s oldest and most decorated military units, the legendary 1st Marine Division. (Hoorah!) And I think I see some proud Navy folks here, too. (Applause.)
Marines, of course, would never say “Hoorah!” They also wouldn’t say “Hooah!”, which is an Army term. Marines say “Oorah!” and are quick to point it out to anyone who gets it wrong. You can’t blame the president for this one, but a little professional military education never hurt anyone.
Here’s a video on Lampert, an exceptional Marine who was the 2010 recipient of the Zembiec Award for outstanding leadership by a MARSOC officer: