Jan. 16, 2014 [Opening Statement]: Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

Jan. 16, 2014 [Opening Statement]: HON Carson's testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

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I would like to thank President Obama for nominating me to this position and to the Secretary of Defense for his support of the nomination. It's been a great professional pleasure of mine for the last two years to serve as general council to the secretary of the Army John McHugh, and I
look very steeply up to the example he has set. Joe Westphal the undersecretary who Senator Inhofe has already mentioned is a friend and a mentor as well. To Generals Odierno and Campbell, soldiers, soldiers, combat leaders extraordinaire, people who are respected not only within the Army, but far outside of it.

I have many friends here today from the Army's Office of General Counsel and from across the Pentagon. And I am grateful to be part of their team and to have been a small part of the effort in the Army to try to do some good things.

And, of course, behind me is my wife Julie who is an attorney herself and she has sacrificed so much as I have pursued my own career, often at the expense of the things she would have done for her own professional development. And so I'm very grateful to her.

The Army, as you know, is an amazing place filled with extraordinary people. I'm reminded of this most when I see any soldier who is under the age of 35, because I know that each of them joined knowing that they would be sent almost immediately upon the completion of training to Iraq or Afghanistan.

They joined not to avoid the fight, because they wanted to be in the fight at its very hottest moments. And the Army has sacrificed much; 4,843 casualties in Iraq, 2,401 as of today in Afghanistan, tens of thousands more wounded. All the services have contributed much to these conflicts, but the Army has borne more than its sad share of those statistics.

Perhaps even more notable, 15,000 awards for valor, nine Medals of Honor, 30 Distinguished Service Crosses and more than 600 Silver Stars. They said, when you go to Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery you'll see all the services well represented. You can't overlook the contributions that the U.S. Army has made.

I think my background in law, politics, higher education and business have all prepared me to be the undersecretary of the Army. The one thing I can assure the committee is that, if I am confirmed, I won't forget the example of those people I've mentioned. I will do my best to acquit myself in their honor.
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