• First Lady Michelle Obama greets Col. Joseph Coleman during her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C., Thursday.

    First lady visits Fort Jackson

    First Lady Michelle Obama greets Col. Joseph Coleman during her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C., Thursday.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the issue of obesity with Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, TRADOC deputy commander of Initial Military Training, during a briefing at the Drill Sergeant School on Fort Jackson, S.C., Thursday.

    First lady visits Fort Jackson

    First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the issue of obesity with Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, TRADOC deputy commander of Initial Military Training, during a briefing at the Drill Sergeant School on Fort Jackson, S.C., Thursday.

  • Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commanding general, talks with First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C., Tuesday.

    First lady visits Fort Jackson

    Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commanding general, talks with First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C., Tuesday.

  • Pvt. Rudolph Buchanan, a Basic Combat Trainee with the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, talks with First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C., Thursday.

    First lady visits Fort Jackson

    Pvt. Rudolph Buchanan, a Basic Combat Trainee with the 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, talks with First Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C., Thursday.

  • First Lady Michelle Obama addresses attendees during the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment's Basic Combat Training graduation ceremony Thursday, at Fort Jackson, S.C.

    First lady visits Fort Jackson

    First Lady Michelle Obama addresses attendees during the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment's Basic Combat Training graduation ceremony Thursday, at Fort Jackson, S.C.

  • Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commanding general, First Lady Michelle Obama and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, applaud Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment during Pass in Review at a Fort Jackson, S.C., Basic Combat Training graduation, Thursday.

    First lady visits Fort Jackson

    Maj. Gen. James Milano, Fort Jackson's commanding general, First Lady Michelle Obama and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, applaud Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment during Pass in Review at a Fort Jackson, S.C., Basic Combat Training...

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- During her visit to Fort Jackson Jan. 27, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed Soldiers and family members at the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment graduation ceremony on Hilton Field.

Obama said she was thrilled to be with the new Soldiers and congratulated them on their achievement.

Aca,!A"In just 10 short weeks, youAca,!a,,cve done so much,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"You prowled through obstacle courses. You marched endless miles with heavier and heavier loads. You completed both basic and advanced rifle marksmanship. You conquered Victory Tower. You made it through Omaha Range, and probably did more sessions of PT than any of you care to remember.Aca,!A?

The first lady emphasized the perseverance needed for the Soldiers to make it through basic training despite cold weather and hard training.

Aca,!A"The truth is, you never gave up. You never gave in,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"Instead you pushed yourselves to your limits and then beyond. And in doing so, you found that those limits were often only just limits of will or maybe your own imagination. You learned that tough isnAca,!a,,ct something that you are; you learned that discipline isnAca,!a,,ct something that you are. Those are things that you become through persistence and hard work. Yes, you learned to follow, but you also learned to lead.Aca,!A?

Obama also addressed the family members in attendance, whom she described as instrumental in their support of the new Soldiers.

Aca,!A"The honor these men and women are receiving here today isnAca,!a,,ct just a testament to them, to their character, commitment and hard work,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"It is a testament to all of you. ItAca,!a,,cs a testament to the love that you gave them and the values that you instilled in them.Aca,!A?

She told the crowd that the SoldiersAca,!a,,c welfare was the presidentAca,!a,,cs top priority.
Aca,!A"I want you all to know that my husband has no greater honor than being their commander in chief,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"He has no higher priority than assuring that your sons and daughters have everything they need, not just to do their job, but that they get the care and benefits theyAca,!a,,cve earned when that job is done.Aca,!A?

In closing, Obama called the graduating Soldiers Aca,!A"the very best America has to offer.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"We see it in those of you who were born far from our shores, but who love this country and signed up to serve it before it was even your own. We see it in those of you who are continuing a long line of service Aca,!" the third, fourth or fifth generation in your families to wear our nationAca,!a,,cs uniform,Aca,!A? Obama said. Aca,!A"We see it in the willingness of every Soldier here today to serve your nation in a time of war, knowing full well the risks that entails. And we see it in how you embrace the Army values that youAca,!a,,cve been taught Aca,!" loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage Aca,!" values that arenAca,!a,,ct just Army values, but American values.Aca,!A?

Page last updated Thu January 27th, 2011 at 16:35