23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
1 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper answers a question during a Town Hall Meeting at Freedom Chapel on Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform Soldie... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
2 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper listens to a Soldier during a Town Hall Meeting at Freedom Chapel on Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform Sold... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
3 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper talks with Soldiers from Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, at Seongju, South Korea on Jan. 10, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
4 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper listens to a briefing at Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform Soldiers, Families and Civilians on his position... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
5 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper awards Spc. James Marlow, a radar technician assigned to Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, with an Army traditional coin at Seongju, South Korea on Jan. 10, 2018. Esper visited Korea... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
6 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper talks with Soldiers during lunch at the Provider Grill Dining Facility at Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
7 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper (Left) and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael A. Bills (Right), the commanding general of Eighth Army, speak after arriving at Osan Airbase, South Korea on Jan. 8, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
8 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (From left to right) U.S. Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commanding general of U.S. Forces Korea, speaks with Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper and his wife Leah Esper, at Dragon Hill Lodge on U.S Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea on Jan. 9, 201... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
9 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Felix Camacho a fire control planner with Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, briefs Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper on the capabilities of the ballistic missile defense on the Korean Peninsula at S... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
10 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper poses with Soldiers from Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Seongju, South Korea on Jan. 10, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
11 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Col. Rene Mann, commander of the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, briefs the Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper at Camp Henry, South Korea on Jan. 10, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
12 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper gets food at the Provider Grill Dining Facility at Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform Soldiers, Families and... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
13 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper talks with Soldiers from Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, during lunch at Seongju, South Korea on Jan. 10, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the K... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
14 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper talks with Soldiers during lunch at the Provider Grill Dining Facility at Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
15 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper walks through the food line at the Provider Grill Dining Facility, at Camp Humphreys, South Korea on Jan. 9, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform Sol... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
23rd Secretary of the Army Gains Context in Korea
16 / 16 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper visits Combined Task Force Defender, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, at Seongju, South Korea on Jan. 10, 2018. Esper visited Korea to discuss readiness with units throughout the Korean theater and to inform Sol... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper visited the Korean Peninsula to interact with U.S. Forces Korea Soldiers and better understand the political situation on the Korean Peninsula through the eyes of the Soldiers and Families stationed there.

Esper's visit comes shortly after officially swearing in as the 23rd Secretary of the Army.

The Gulf War veteran visited installations across the Korean Peninsula to understand the unique infrastructure and capabilities, as well as the needs of the Eighth Army Soldiers, Families and Civilians, who maintain a state of constant readiness alongside the Republic of Korea Army.

Esper highlighted modernization as one of his top priorities, explaining that growing and reshaping the U.S. operational force will make for a more robust and successful force in all domains.

As part of the modernization efforts in Korea, Esper observed various unit material capabilities which highlighted the cross-military competencies that allow ROK-U.S. forces to meet their training and deterrent objectives.

At Camp Red Cloud, commanders briefed Esper on the 2nd Infantry Division's unique support to Eighth Army's key missions.

"We have a special responsibility on the Korean Peninsula. The alliance we share with the Republic of Korea is incredibly strong, and it's important that we continue to honor our commitment to the Korean people."

He said maintaining the Alliance is rooted in readiness.

"Improving readiness is the benchmark for everything we do," He stated. "It should guide our decision-making."

Esper also visited with Soldiers from the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense site in Seongju. During the visit, 35th ADA Soldiers showcased the unit's ability to rapidly employ the system to provide theater ballistic missile defense for forces stationed in Korea, the Korean people and nearby allies.

"Our Air Defense Artillery units are critical to our readiness posture, and they continue to meet our requirements. I'm impressed by their devotion to duty."

He said, the Soldier is the lynchpin in the Army's ability to adapt to innovation and reform.

"These soldiers have an excellent array of knowledge in their fields. They know their equipment as well as their jobs. They are an asset to our organization, which requires their level of commitment to excellence and mental agility in order to stay ahead of the curve."

The former Army Infantry officer explained how this trip offered him a chance to hear directly from the men and women serving in Korea and their Families.

At a town hall meeting held at Camp Humphreys, he told Family Readiness Group members and Soldiers that he wants make living in Korea simpler for Soldiers and their Families.

"We can't solve problems unless we talk about them," Esper told the town hall audience.

Esper committed to "pulling the thread" on several of the issues discussed during the town hall and to keeping Eighth Army Commander Lt. Gen. Michael A. Bills updated as he works on common sense solutions.

Related Links:

Eighth Army Homepage

Official Twitter

Army.mil: Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper

Official Facebook Page

Photos on Flickr