General Odierno: Thank you very much. It is great to be here on this beautiful day here at Fort Belvoir. Good morning everyone. Welcome. I have to be honest with you. It is always a great day when I get the opportunity to make a trip outside the Pentagon, just a little south of here in Fort Belvoir. I did it in a time where I did not have any traffic. I was really impressed. (Laughter). As you all know this is one of our newest organizations in terms of lineage in our Army. The Soldiers and leaders or Army Cyber Command are already making history with their tremendous dedication and commitment in helping us to enter this relatively new arena. Please join me in recognizing the great Soldiers of this command, the leaders of this command, and what they do everyday to protect our freedoms. (Applause).

Sergeant First Class Lee, thank you for leading the United States Army Band today. Sergeant First Class Derrick Mears and the Soldiers of the Color Guard, thank you for your professionalism. Secretary Shinseki and Patty, thank you so much for being here today. We appreciate you taking the time out of your incredibly busy schedules. Sergeant Major Chandler, thank you, sir, for your leadership over our Non-Commissioned Officer Corp. General (retired) Dick Cody, Former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Sir, great to have you here. General (retired) John Allen and his wife Kathy, thank you for being here. We appreciate your attendance today. Keith Alexander, the Commander of USCYBERCOM, actually they work for him. This is his organization. Keith it is great to see you. Thank you for everything you do for our country. We truly appreciate it. Bob, Cone, TRADOC Commander, thank you sir for being here. Gerry O'Keefe, the Admin Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Gerry it is great to see you here. Other fellow Officers, leaders, it is great to have so many important people here today.
I also want to thank the most important people here today, the Hernandez and Cardon families, who have joined us here for this great ceremony. I know that none of us could do this alone. It takes the great support and dedication of our families in order for us to be successful and to do the things that we ask our leaders to do in this great Army. Pat Hernandez, thank you so much for being here. Her and Rhett first met in kindergarten. I did not ask if it was love at first sight in kindergarten, but they met in Pennsylvania. They have been married for 37 years, as soon as he graduated from West Point. Sarah Zolla, their daughter from San Antonio and her husband Rob, thank you so much for being here today. Mark Hernandez, all the way from Baltimore where he works for ABC News, along with his guest Julia Gorina, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate your attendance here today. Ms. Myrtle Haydt, Pat Hernandez' mother, ma'am, thank you so much for being here.

I want to thank Linda Cardon, the wife of Ed. They met on a blind date. I have been to four or five ceremonies now, and every General Officer met on a blind date, so they either have zero social skills, or they are so busy, they do not have time. I am going to believe the second one. (Laughter). Chris is a college student in Georgia and ROTC Cadet. He enlisted as an infantryman in 2007and deployed with the 82nd Airborne division to Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. He is now an ROTC member working towards being an Officer in the United States Army. Chris it is great to have you here. Larry Cardon and his wife Corri, Ed's parents are here. Larry is an Army veteran and his mother grew up in Holland in World War II. Sir, it is so great to have you here form California. Thank you for being here.

Ten years ago this year, our Army began combat operations in Iraq. At that time most leaders thought of network operations as strictly those communication areas that impacted our ability to command and control maneuver forces on the battlefield. The internet, in existence for little more than a decade at that point, was becoming more wide spread in its use and acceptance by the population. We knew cyberspace would play a significant role in our future, but many of us didn't fully grasp the way it would fundamentally change our society and how we do business.

Today, much of the world has become completely reliant on cyberspace for most, if not all, of its significant activities. Our commerce flows freely across networks on a daily basis and it provides the medium used by financial intuitions to reach their customers and each other. Mass communication, once exclusively under the control of print and broadcast companies, can now be done network to network, where it can quickly multiply and spread across continents, in multiple languages. The infrastructure required that allows our societies to function is done almost exclusively over these networks. Finally, the defense establishment has become highly dependent on the use of cyberspace, especially as it relates to our ability to conduct military and business operations around the globe.

This reliance on cyberspace has certainly brought positive and dramatic change to our world and especially our Nation. However, this reliance also means that our adversaries will seek ways to exploit it. Historically, we tend to think about confrontation in conventional military terms. Now, our use of cyberspace had developed a whole new dimension and domain of professional conflict that we must have the ability to protect and defend.

We have seen all too often in recent years U.S. national interest at risk in cyberspace. As security professionals, we tended to think about cyber security only in the narrow confines of protecting our defense networks. However, with over eighty five percent of our nation's networks held by the private sector, this narrow way of thinking is no longer adequate enough. Our Army is called upon to defend our Nation both at home and abroad. The network is now a critical foundation of our national interests, and the Army, as part of USCYBERCOM, must continue to build, operate, and defend the network with the same operational mindset as we do when fighting a conventional opponent.

Army Cyber Command is looking toward the future to ensure we are doing our part to support U.S. interests under USCYBERCOM and the Department of Defense in establishing a critical warfighting capability in cyberspace. We are working to unify our structures and organizations at all echelons. Networks are not simply the domain of one service. We must build interdependence with our sister services so we can operate in the Joint Information Environment. We must move out aggressively to exploit the potential that the JIE offers to build more defensible networks.

It is my belief that the Army should be at the forefront in providing these forces capable of defending the nation in cyberspace and meeting the needs of our Joint Force Commanders. Building the Army's future cyber force will require new approaches to doctrine, training, organizations, and people. It is critical that we build rapidly the capabilities that we need, and ARCYBER will be at the heart of these efforts. This and other efforts will continue to shape a force that can operate effectively and efficiently and deliver the results we need to protect our nation.

At the center of any critical strategy for our Nation is the importance of personal leadership, and cyberspace is no different. When the Army first established Army Cyber Command in 2010, we knew that it would need a leader that was capable of shaping this critical force for the challenges that lie ahead. Rhett Hernandez was given one paragraph's worth of guidance, which was read earlier, actually. With this one paragraph of guidance, he was tasked to move out and establish Army Cyber Command. The command's motto is "Second to None", and that is exactly the spirit that LTG Rhett Hernandez has brought to this command, and it will be the legacy he leaves with it. Rhett has wrestled with difficult organizational, structural, funding, doctrinal and leader development issues just to mention a few. However, through his hard work, dedication, and tenacity he has helped the Army think through the complexities of cyber and has put us on a path that I know will ensure success in the future.

Rhett has had a long and distinguished career of leading Soldiers in our Army. As an Artillery Officer, he honed his expertise as a forward observer and Battery Commander in Europe. He would go on to command an Artillery Battalion and the Division Artillery of 4th ID, steadfast and loyal, at Fort Hood. He did that with incredible distinction, eventually being selected to the Assistant Division Commander of 1st Armored division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After distinguished service in combat, our Army asked Rhett to lead Human Resources Command and take the important task of reshaping our personnel policies to the future.

As we grew the Army, he helped us develop systems to support modularity and update our assignment processes. After that assignment, Rhett returned to the Middle East to serve as the Chief of the Military Training Mission in Saudi Arabia. As our largest security assistance program, he oversaw foreign military sales to a critical ally in the region. His efforts resulted in a rejuvenated strategic military partnership with Saudi Arabia and culminated in the first US-Saudi land exercise since Desert Storm. Rhett then came back to the Pentagon, where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Operations, overseeing our global responsibilities as we conducted a drawdown in Iraq and a surge in Afghanistan. However, it has been his assignment as the very first commander of US Army Cyber that will be the legacy that he leaves for our Army. Rhett stood up the command from scratch to the current force of more than eighteen thousand Soldiers and Civilians assigned or operationally controlled by this command. His efforts have set our Army up for long term success in this very critical endeavor. Rhett, we will be indebted to you for a very long time. We thank you for your dedication and service, your professionalism, and your example that you have set for so many.

I also would like to take a moment to mention the tremendous work and support of Pat Hernandez to our Army, and especially our Army Families. She has helped establish and lead Family Readiness Groups and programs at all levels from battalion to here in Army Cyber. For three decades she has volunteered with numerous organizations to include the USO, the Girl Scouts, and many others. She did all of this while also raising their two children, often while Rhett was performing duties around the world for our Army and the Nation. Pat, thank you for all you have done for our Army and our Families. You are a tremendous role model, and we were fortunate to have had your service for all of these years. Let's give her a round of applause. (Applause).

Rhett, you are a tremendous leader of character. For the past thirty-seven years you have given incredible selfless service to our Army and the Nation. The impact you have made on Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Officers will be felt for many years. Frankly, that will be your legacy. We can never thank you enough for your tireless efforts. Linda and I wish you and Pat all the best in your future endeavors.

With the solid foundation established by Rhett Hernandez, ARCYBER is prepared to build for the future. Lieutenant General Ed Cardon is the right leader to continue that process. He has led formations, many of them in combat, from the Platoon all the way to the Division level, most recently as the Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. He has significant time in critical staff assignments in Washington and our professional development schools, both at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and the Combined Arms Center. He understands the importance of our efforts in cyberspace. He and his wife Linda are a fantastic command team, and together they have made great contributions to our Army over the last thirty years.

Ed, as you begin your command tour, I need your help as the Army continues to lead change in this domain. Among your many tasks, the most critical will be leading both the institutional development of cyber with TRADOC and the future strategic, operational and tactical role of offensive and defensive cyber operations in support of USCYBERCOM. It is important that you build strong relationships with all the stakeholders within and outside the Army. I will look to you to develop and build consensus with new organizational constructs and concepts. You have my full confidence and support and I wish you all the best as you begin your command tour.
Finally, the most important ingredient to our success in cyberspace or anywhere else is the American Soldier. As I stand here with you, the Army has over 70,000 Soldiers deployed, including over 50,000 in Afghanistan. We also have thousands of others in Kuwait, Qatar, the Horn of Africa, Kosovo and the Sinai. An additional 88,000 Soldiers are forward stationed in places like Korea and Europe.

Since 2001, these young men and women have earned over 15,000 Medals of Valor, to include 8 Medals of Honor, 28 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 697 Silver Stars, and those numbers continue to grow. These Soldiers are some of the bravest and yet most humble individuals I have ever met, telling me they were just simply doing their job. They are living up to the professional standards and dedicating themselves to service for their country. Their competence, character, and commitment continue to be a source of inspiration for our Army and our country. It is our solemn responsibility to ensure they are prepared, trained, ready, and well led whenever the Nation might call. Once again I want to thank everyone for being here today. The Strength of our Nation is our Army. The Strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The Strength of our Soldiers is our Families, and that's what makes us Army Strong. Thank you very much. (Applause).

End of Remarks.

Page last updated Tue September 10th, 2013 at 00:00