An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Feb. 20, 2020

Battles Like Iwo Jima Must Never Happen Again, Milley Says

By David Vergun Defense.gov

WASHINGTON -- Seventy-five years ago today, about 70,000 Marines and sailors, backed up by about 400 ships, made the assault landings on Iwo Jima, a Pacific island that is only several square miles in size.

It was the bloodiest campaign in American history per square mile, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

"They slugged it out, inch by inch, yard by yard for the next 36 days," Army Gen. Mark A. Milley said, resulting in almost 50% of the battle's participants being killed or wounded.

Of the 22,000 Japanese defenders, only about 1,000 survived the battle, he added.

Milley noted that his father, Alexander Milley, was a Marine who fought in Iwo Jima and other campaigns during the war.

The chairman was the keynote speaker at a commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the start of the battle of Iwo Jima at the National World War II Memorial in Washington.

Last year, Milley visited Iwo Jima with his counterpart from the Japan Self-Defense Forces. "It's an incredibly humbling experience to walk through that island … trying to imagine what hell on earth was like, and that was Iwo Jima," he said.

From 1914, the start of World War I, to 1945, the end of World War II, the world was engaged in two of the biggest wars that have ever been fought in the history of humanity, Milley said.

But those who fought in the wars fought for something -- they fought for a better peace, he noted. At the end of 1945, he said, that greatest generation bequeathed a set of freedoms and a world order that has held good since then.

This is the 75th year of no great-power war, and that is what World War II veterans, including those at today's event, fought for, the chairman said.

Today, the United States is in a great-power competition with China and Russia. "It is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that great-power competition of today stays at great-power competition and great-power peace and doesn't yet again turn into great-power war," he said.

"Let us resolve once again to never let it happen again," Milley said. "Let us resolve that we're not going to have another great-power war, because the slaughter that is involved is beyond the imagination. It's beyond the pale."

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
X
363,574
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Joint Readout on the Inaugural U.S.-Philippines 3+3 Meeting
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 12, 2024 - The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Philippines on the occasion of the inaugural U.S.-Philippines 3+3 Meeting...

Japan, Republic of Korea, U.S. Navies Partner in Trilateral Maritime Exercise
AT SEA (April 11, 2024) Ships assigned to the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Republic of Korea Navy with aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 sail in formation during a trilateral exercise, April 11, 2024. This trilateral exercise allowed maritime forces from Japan, the Republic of Korea, and U.S. to train together to enhance coordination on maritime domain awareness and other shared security interests. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tommy Gooley)
April 12, 2024 - The U.S. Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), conducted a trilateral maritime exercise, reaffirming their commitment to bolstering regional security and stability in the...

1st Marine Division Deploys to Philippines for Marine Exercise 2024
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - Marines from the Philippine Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps will conduct the second iteration of the Philippine Marine Exercise from April 8-19, 2024, at Camp Iranun, Mindanao, Philippines...

PACAF team unveils innovative resilient energy source to enhance Agile Combat Employment
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - A dynamic team of Air Force personnel stationed in the Indo-Pacific region unveiled an innovative solution known as Rays to Jet Power at the Logistics Officer Association symposium in St. Louis, Missouri, March 27...

Joint Press Statement for the 24th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense (MND) held the 24th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) on April 11, 2024 in Washington...