Army Family Covenant re-signed
From left, Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston talk with Army families after re-signing the Army Family Covenant at the Association of the U.S. Army's military family forum in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2009.

Washington, DC
October 5, 2009
As Delivered

The Chief asked me to make a few comments and they call him the Chief for a reason. I don't want to delay the Family Forum that's going to continue, but given the opportunity I'd like to say just a couple things:

First of all, I want to tell you what an honor it is for me to have the opportunity to join this Army team and this Army Family. And I probably should have put the word "Family" first.

I know the Chief mentioned my background both working with Fort Drum, 10th Mountain Division, "Climb to Glory," but also in my 17 years on the Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation panel (and) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Personnel, where I learned first and foremost, that this nation has an Army Family.

That this nation, in order to continue to field the best, most effective military and Army the world has ever seen, we have to take care of the Soldier and his and her family as well.

The Army Covenant that we first signed was the brainchild of a number of people, but particularly the Chief and my predecessor, Pete Geren, and I wanted to be here today to symbolically resign it to assure you that all that is embodied in that pledge are things I believe in and whatever failures may follow me in my days ahead - failure to enact and to oversee and to shepherd through - the Army Family Covenant will not be one of those failures.

We will succeed with this program because it is the very least that we can do to serve all of you.

Most of all I wanted to tell all of you how much and how deeply we appreciate the sacrifices that you make while you're home - while you're allowing your Soldiers, your spouses, your loved ones to go forward and to take care of freedom for us overseas and in the deployments - while you take care of the force here at home.

God bless you all, I'm honored to be here with you and I look forward to the days ahead.

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