Good morning everyone, it is always great to be back here at Fort Bragg, especially on such a beautiful morning. Today is a day to celebrate and honor the incredible contributions, service, and sacrifice of the Army Reserve to our Army and Nation.

We are also here to pay tribute to a visionary leader and remarkable Army Family that have given so much over 37 years of dedicated service -- and welcome another leader to assume a critical role at an important time for our Army.

To the Soldiers and Leaders on the field, here today from across our Nation and throughout our Army Reserve, you look great. I am proud to serve with you.

We are also privileged to have the 338th Army Reserve Band participating today, along with Alpha Battery, 2-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment serving as our Salute Battery. Your incredible performances add richness to this time-honored ceremony. Let's give them a round of applause.

I extend a very warm Army welcome to the Stultz family. Laura, it is wonderful to see you. We are also honored to have Jack and Laura's four children with us -- Benjamin, Trevor, Daniel, and Katie.

And from the Talley Family, we have Jeff's wife Linda, and three of their children -- Ashley, Josh, and Chris. Matt, the youngest Talley son, is currently in the Mountain Phase of Ranger School. So he is a little busy today and could not be here -- that is OK.

Welcome to you all.

Today we celebrate our Army Reserve -- the most capable reserve force in our history. More than ever, our Nation, and specifically our Army, relies on the diversity and strength of our multi-component structure. It provides us the depth, versatility, and agility to operate simultaneously across a broad spectrum of missions.

During Jack Stultz's six year tenure -- that's a long time, Jack -- our Army Reserve has proven itself time and time again. More than 93,000 Reserve Soldiers have been mobilized, with more than 70,000 deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and other contingencies worldwide under his watch.

These Warriors have proved themselves as an integral component of the Joint Force, especially in operational specialties such as chemical, transportation, engineer, and civil affairs; and in critical institutional functions such as Professional Military Education, initial entry training, mobilization, and resourcing our strategic-level headquarters.

Jack Stultz leaves behind a tremendous legacy -- an operationalized reserve force of Citizen-Warriors seasoned by combat and grounded in Army values.

He revolutionized the way the Army Reserve does business -- from training strategy to readiness posture to organizational structure -- to provide Combatant Commanders the wartime capabilities they require.

He established three Regional Training Centers to conduct rigorous pre-mobilization training for deploying units.

Jack created the "Army Reserve Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces Program" to link Soldiers with civilian employers. This partnership program was so successful that the Department of Defense has used it as the basis for the much larger "Heroes to Hire Program." Over 2900 employers -- including 95 Fortune-500 companies -- are currently listing 700,000 job opportunities.

Jack, I have just touched on a few of your many achievements. Your leadership over six years will benefit Soldiers, their Families, the Army, and the Nation for years to come. (applause)

Through all of this -- for 37 years -- Laura has served as Jack's partner and teammate. Laura, you have been a tireless advocate for our Soldiers and Families.

You were the visionary behind our Army Strong Community Centers, which enable Citizen-Soldiers and Veterans through the unique challenges they experience with combat deployments. Six of these centers are now fully operational. Over 100,000 Service Members -- from all services -- have benefitted from your work.

You spearheaded the establishment of a 24/7 telephone hotline and the new "Family Strong Magazine." These are especially important tools to enhance awareness and delivery to our Warriors that reside far from Active Duty installations.

Laura, you know, more than anyone else, what the Army Reserve Family has experienced. Our Army and our Nation extends our utmost respect and gratitude to you and your entire Family for all that you have done. (applause)

As we bid farewell to Jack and Laura, we are fortunate to welcome a proven leader, and his incredible wife Linda.

During more than 30 years of active and reserve service, Jeff Talley has commanded units at every echelon, from platoon to division, with duty in Korea, Kuwait, and Iraq. Jeff brings unique experience. I admired his leadership when he commanded an Engineer Brigade in Iraq. He led critical Counter-IED and reconstruction efforts in Sadr City, and expertly advised and assisted our Iraqi partners as they developed capacity to deliver essential services. His work was groundbreaking and allowed Multinational Force Iraq to achieve success in a place -- Sadr City -- that few believed possible.

Jeff is the true Citizen-Soldier, successful in the Army and Business. He was the CEO of Environmental Technology Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona; and an Adjunct Professor of civil engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. His credentials speak for themselves.

Jeff's experience and background make him the absolutely right leader to understand the strategic environment, articulate a vision, and lead change as our Army moves forward in a time of transition. As we move forward, all three components will continue to play a critical role in dealing with the challenges of our increasingly complex and uncertain environment.

The Nation will continue to require much of our Army -- Active, Guard, and Reserve -- but in very new ways. I look forward to serving with you, Jeff, and have great confidence in your ability to navigate the challenges and opportunities that await us.

Linda, thank you for your sacrifice and steadfast support of Jeff. I know this business is a family affair. Thank you for your continued service and sacrifice. (applause)

I am proud to be here today to honor and recognize the achievements of the US Army Reserve, and in particular, two selfless and dedicated leaders.

• The Strength of our Nation is our Army
• The Strength of our Army is our Soldiers
• The Strength of our Soldiers is our Families
• This is what makes us Army Strong

Page last updated Mon June 11th, 2012 at 10:54