JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- During a day-long Meet Your Army event in New Jersey, one of the Army’s most senior leaders shared his appreciation and encouragement with recruiters and future enlistees, business leaders, police officers, veterans and the clergy.
Gen. Ed Daly, commander of Army Materiel Command, participated in a Meet Your Army event Oct. 15 in his home city, following his induction ceremony into his alma mater’s Hall of Fame. Meet Your Army is an outreach initiative to connect, inspire and educate the American public to support and sustain their Army. It involves strategically planned engagements, often in the home towns of senior Army leaders, that increase knowledge, public support and confidence in the Army and its Soldiers. Many events are tied to recruiting efforts in the area.
Daly, who recalled the lack of military leadership in the Jersey City and Newark communities while he was growing up, told a group of recruiters from the Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion, that the relationships they build within their communities are critical to what local residents know about the Army.
“We appreciate what you do each and every day behind the scene to build our Army of the future,” Daly said. “It was important that I came here first because your work builds the Army of the future one individual at a time. You’ve got an awesome responsibility and what you do is critical to our Army.”
Daly’s visit to the Newark Recruiting Station included recognition of three top recruiters from the Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion: Sgt. First Class Lawrencia Quartey of the Newark Company, Staff Sgt. Zachariah Martinez of the Tinton Falls Company and Sgt. First Class Aliomar Davis of the North Jersey Company.
Daly, who was accompanied throughout the day by AMC Command Sgt. Maj. Alberto Delgado, said the visit to the Newark Recruiting Station was personal for them.
“I literally grew up five miles from here. Command Sgt. Maj. Delgado grew up in lower Manhattan,” he said. “This is personal to us in terms of reaching out and bringing young people into the Army and changing the trajectory of their lives.”
Daly stressed the importance of recognizing the Army’s number one asset is its people, and the role of Army senior leaders in finding ways to help Soldiers accomplish their mission every day.
“The Army is in the family business. People serve because they have a sense of service. It is our job to ensure we offer a high quality of life for them and their families,” he said. “We know you face challenges and it’s not easy. But your persistence, resilience and attitude make a huge difference for our Army. You set the foundation for our Army.”
At a meeting with business leaders from New Jersey’s Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, Daly was provided information on the area’s fast-growing logistics and distribution industry and the current struggles managing the supply chain. Daly emphasized the Army’s need for partnerships with advanced manufacturing, information technology, transportation and logistics industries to develop cutting-edge capabilities and fulfill modernization goals. He encouraged the business leaders to hire veterans and Reserve Soldiers, telling them the values and attributes they bring to the workforce are beneficial; and he urged the leaders to encourage military service among the youth they meet through their business networks.
Twenty-six Future Soldiers were the center of attention at a Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion Future Soldier Swear-In at New Jersey’s Liberty State Park. With the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, Daly administered the oath of office.
“Today is all about you all; it’s about parents, and sons and daughters. There is no place Command Sgt. Maj. Delgado and myself would rather be than right here right now,” Daly told the Future Soldiers prior to the ceremony.
He encouraged the Future Soldiers to enjoy the ceremony with the knowledge that they are about to enter a 245-year-old profession that is both honorable and duty-bound. It’s legacy includes America’s Founding Father General George Washington, the Band of Brothers and Greatest Generation of World War II, and 16 New Jersey service members whose names live on as the names of local Jersey City parks.
“Take this in and realize you are entering service and standing on freedom’s frontier and defending our democracy,” Daly said. “People will soon be counting on you to lead them and protect them. We look forward to serving with you in this great profession.”
Military service is a foundation for greatness both in and out of uniform, he said, and can change and define not only a career, but a lifetime.
“What you represent demonstrates service bigger than yourselves. It’s about protecting our constitution. It’s about standing in line with the brave,” Daly said. “So, go and be great. Trust your instincts. We need you to serve with pride in our Army. You are our best and brightest. We need you to go and do great things for our country.”
During a visit to the Jersey City Police South Precinct, Daly spoke with officers who once served alongside his father, and who continue his legacy built on the values of professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence shared by police officers and the Army’s Soldier and civilian force.
“My father was a life-long and proud member of the Jersey City Police force,” Daly said. “The values I learned from my father are reflected in my life today and have led to my success as an Army leader. I am forever grateful to the New Jersey Police Department for the difference it made in the life of my father and in the lives of our family.”
Daly further solidified relationships with local veterans during a visit to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Samuel R. Shelton Post 2294. Of the veterans active with VFW Post 2294, two are World War II veteran while others served in Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm and the Global War on Terrorism.
“I truly appreciate your service,” Daly told the veterans at Jersey City’s last remaining VFW post. “This is the land of the free because of the brave, and you are the brave. You are the heroes.”
The day’s activities ended with meeting officials at the Archdiocese of Newark, which oversees 16 private Catholic high schools in the Jersey City/Newark area. The Archdiocese has more than 225 priests on active duty serving about 1.8 million people. About 25% of the military are Catholic, according to the Catholic Church’s Archdiocese for the Military Services.
During the meeting, church officials agreed that Army recruiters can provide a viable, honorable and life changing career choice for the graduates of the area’s Catholic schools.
“The Army instills a set of core values in all who serve that the Catholic church would be proud of – values like honor, respect, loyalty and selfless service,” Daly said. “While we stand for religious freedom, we are also committed to providing our Soldiers and families the faith-based services and support they need and want along with training and educational opportunities that provide life-long employment opportunities.”
Recruiters from the Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion assisted in planning the Meet Your Army events in Jersey City and Newark, taking advantage of Daly’s ability to assist in building relationships with groups who are essential to successful recruiting in the area.
“Gen. Daly’s visit was just what we needed, great conversation and great support. He made it very memorable for our current and future Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Dion Hall, battalion commander.
Editor's Note: For more photos, view the AMC Flickr album at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWZTBG3 .