FORT MYER, Va. (Army News Service, March 9, 2007) - Outgoing Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey said farewell today to the organization he'd led since his November 2004 appointment by President Bush.

"It has been an honor and privilege to serve our great country and to lead ... the most revered and respected institution in the land - the United States Army," Harvey said, speaking to an audience that included senior Army and Defense Department leaders, Soldiers, civilian employees and family members.

Saying he was "extremely proud of what we have accomplished together, as a result of the total dedication and hard work" of Soldiers and military and civilian leaders, Harvey singled out his "close partnership" with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker as one of the foundations of his tenure.

"I remind you that in the same way that this is no ordinary Army, Schoomaker is no ordinary chief of staff," Harvey said. "We have all benefited from his charismatic, visionary leadership, and I have been privileged to call him adviser, partner and friend during these past two years."

Regarding the circumstances of his departure, Harvey spoke at length about accountability as it applies at all levels of command.

"During my time as secretary of the Army, I made hundreds and hundreds of decisions," he said, "and I am totally accountable for all (of them and) stand by each of them. ... True leaders must demonstrate, through their actions, that they will stand up for their principles, that they will rise above outside pressures ... and that they will be held personally accountable for their decisions."

Harvey went on to speak at length about the importance of the Army team.

"As I leave your ranks today, I want you to know that I do so with sadness, yet with tremendous pride in the accomplishments made by the Army team, by you - the men and women of the United States Army," Harvey said.

"I remind you that the Army team is ... accomplishing the mission under conditions that many said would cause us to 'break' ... they are also building a far more capable, more powerful and more relevant Army for the future," he added. "Let me assure you here today - as well as the American people, whom we serve - that the leaders of this fine institution have developed the mindset and outlook that will enable the Army to continue to adapt, to grow and to serve our country in the face of growing challenges, as they have done since the birth of our nation..."

In closing, Harvey focused on his pride in the Army, and in what was accomplished during his tenure.

"I leave the Army today extremely proud of what we have achieved together during the past two years," he said. "Tomorrow's Army - our future force - will be better because of the strategic and financial foundation ... strategic direction and unprecedented transformational momentum we have established.

"It's ironic ... I've spent the last two years, and even today, talking about the Army vision, Army mission, Army strategy, Army challenges and Army values," Harvey concluded. "What you showed me this week is 'Army love.' I will always cherish it; I will never forget it."