Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno visits Regional Command (South)
December 21, 2011
Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, visited Kandahar Airfield in Regional Command (South) for a visit with task force and headquarters leadership; and conducted a re-enlistment and awards ceremony Dec. 20-21.
Odierno met with brigade commanders and command sergeants major, as well as Maj. Gen. Jim Huggins, 82nd Airborne Division and RC(S) commanding general, and his command staff for a working breakfast to discuss his major topics of emphasis for his tenure as Chief, particularly the continued training of leaders.
Accompanying Odierno and his party was Rick Kell, the Troops First Founder founder and David Feherty, co-founder; CBS Sports commentator; author; and retired PGA golfer. They were given a tour of the NATO Multinational Role 3 Hospital facility on KAF and the Wounded Warrior Concussive Care Center, both on KAF.
Odierno invited Kell and Feherty for their involvement and commitment to Soldiers and their families, particularly wounded servicemembers. Troops First Foundation and Odierno collaborated to create a new program called Operation Proper Exit, designed to provide closure for wounded veterans.
While volunteering at Walter Reed Hospital, Kell noticed how many wounded service members would remark how they wished they could return to the site of their injury, to see it one last time and come to terms with what had happened to them. With the help of the military, Operation Proper Exit is able to do just that.
Odierno used this trip as a thank-you to Kell and Feherty. He also attended an award and re-enlistment ceremony on Kandahar Airfield at the end of his visit.
Select servicemembers from different units on KAF were presented several awards, including the Bronze Star. Odierno also re-enlisted a large group of Soldiers after presenting the awards.
This marks the first visit for Odierno as the Chief of Staff and the first time assessing the battlespace situation in RC(S).