CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (Sept. 21, 2012) -- Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno made his first visit to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Sept. 20, 2012, to meet with service members and civilians.

While visiting, Odierno held a Soldier Call to discuss the importance of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa's mission and each Soldier's place in supporting the mission, but not before taking care of some important business.

"It's an honor to reenlist three great Soldiers," Odierno said. "It's one of the most satisfying things I get to do."

The general then welcomed 702nd Military Police Company members Staff Sgt. Curtis Berry, administration sergeant, and Sgt. David Tinsley and Sgt. Joe Avent, team leaders, to the stage.

"Please raise your right hand and repeat after me ..." Odierno began, as he presented the United States Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment for the re-enlistees to repeat. "... so help me God. Hooah!"

After the re-enlistees took their seats, Odierno summed up the purpose of his visit.

"[This trip was] important for a number of reasons," Odierno said. "The mission on the continent of Africa is important for national security. It's shaping the future. What you're doing, helping us to engage with eastern Africa nations, shape[s] the future."

Odierno had much to say about the future during the Soldier Call, as he presented his top five priorities.

"I have to make sure [Soldiers] are ready to accomplish the mission [downrange]," Odierno said. "I've got to make sure I'm focused on that. I've got to look at how the Army's going to move forward. We need to look at the time past to see what we'll need for the future."

The general said his other priorities include: adapting leader development courses to produce the best leaders; sustaining the all-volunteer Army; and sustaining and improving the profession of arms.

"After 12 years of war it's important that we understand our profession," Odierno said. "The foundation is trust. We have to be able to execute responsibilities with precision. The professionalism you show is incredibly important as we execute the mission."

He then redirected the audience's attention to some key Army issues.

"We just got done talking about trust," Odierno said. "So, we should have a culture that doesn't accept [sexual assault or harassment]. We should also be about all being involved in suicide prevention. We need to help each other and intervene. It's about peer-to-peer intervention because you know [the individual]."

Before departing, the general gave some closing thoughts.

"As I stand here today, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that we have the best Army in the world," Odierno said. "Even though we're going to get smaller, we're going to be the best army. But I need your help. You set a great example here. You're having a great impact, and you can have more impact as we look to the future. I appreciate your sacrifice. You're doing us proud."

Page last updated Fri September 21st, 2012 at 06:00