JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. (Army News Service, Feb. 1, 2012) -- Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III was sworn in as the Army's 33rd vice chief of staff during a ceremony here, Jan. 31.

Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh administered the oath of office and then thanked the general for his outstanding service and dedication to the Army.

"I expect Lloyd to continue his leadership and advocacy on behalf of Soldiers and their families, just as he has in virtually every other assignment he's held," said McHugh. "Lloyd Austin has always led from the front, led by example -- not just telling Soldiers, but showing Soldiers the right way, the Army way, the Lloyd Austin way."

After the oath, McHugh presented Austin with the vice chief of staff flag, signifying the general's assumption of responsibility.

"Lloyd Austin is, as he always has been, a full-spectrum leader," McHugh said. "[He is] a leader that at every level of command has demonstrated to his troops the right way to lead, the right way to live as a Soldier."

After assuming responsibility, the general thanked his family, friends, and former leaders. He also thanked the Soldiers he's worked with throughout his career. He said the ceremony was just as much about them as it was about him.

America's Soldiers "continue to amaze me with their continued resilience, flexibility and motivation," Austin said. "They are indeed the fabric of our Army. They've made every seemingly impossible task look easy."

Most recently, Austin served as commanding general of United States Forces - Iraq. In fact, he was the last to hold that position, as Operation New Dawn ended in December. The complex task of leaving Iraq was completed, in no small part, by American Soldiers.

"Most recently in Iraq, they've completed one of the most complex logistics and operational maneuvers in our nation's history," said Austin. "They did it all without incident and they finished ahead of schedule. They did all of this in contact with a determined enemy. I am truly humbled by and thankful for their service and their many sacrifices."

Austin replaces Gen. Peter Chiarelli as the vice chief of staff of the Army. Chiarelli retired from the Army after 40 years of service during a ceremony held earlier in the day.

Page last updated Tue January 31st, 2012 at 00:00