Fort Stewart, Ga -- The Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff's Admiral Michael G. Mullen and wife Deborah visited Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield and the 3rd Infantry Division for an "all hands call" to talk with service members June 12. He stopped at many places but the emphasis of his visit happened at the Main Post Chapel. There, he was able to answer questions asked by more than 1000 3rd Inf. Div. Soldiers on various topics, ranging from childcare cost to the spike in gas prices.
"This is an opportunity for me to say 'thanks,'" Mullen said. "I've received a lot of good feedback that I will take back to the policy makers."
Mullens first sat down with enlisted Soldiers E-5 and below. Then he sat down with Soldiers E-6 and above. He was asked many questions, with the majority veering toward the deployment cycle and what Washington is doing to make the length of deployment cycle shorter. Mullen said the 3rd Inf. Div.'s dwell time at home will be 16 to 18 months. He added that the stop-loss policy, however, is not going away.
"We're in the middle of a fight, and we're in it for a long time," Mullen said. "That being said, what you've accomplished in the last year, many thought was un-accomplishable. You're making a difference not only in your life but in other people's lives."
Mullen talked to Soldiers about change and leadership. He expressed his admiration for the great service and dedication 3rd Inf. Div. Soldiers have given to the nation.
He also said that through the numerous deployments, Family support is key to the success of Soldiers.
"We could not be an Army without Family support," he said. "Family is the most important part of the Army."
During his time at Stewart-Hunter, Mullen stopped to visit various locations, to include the education center, Soldier barracks, Warriors Transition Battalion, motorcycle safety simulator, new 3rd Inf. Div. headquarters building, and Warrior's Walk.