By Lt. Gen. Guy Swan III, Army North and Fort Sam Houston commanderMay 24, 2010
Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis have a special place in the heart of San Antonio and our Department of Defense. Our place in history is as relevant and secure as the other fortress of strength with which we share this south Texas home - the Alamo. I have the pleasure to command from one of the military\'s oldest continuously operating structures at the historic quadrangle. I am reminded daily of what this great place has meant for our country. Every Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine that receives medical treatment from a Soldier-medic owes his or her health to Fort Sam Houston - so long the home of the Army Medical Center and School. Likewise, we express our gratitude to those patients and our Wounded Warriors who continue their treatment at BAMC, itself the model of military healthcare for the world. As I travel across this installation down Artillery Post, Staff Post and Infantry Post Roads, I am reminded of the generations of servicemen and women that trained here and called this Fort their home on their way to and from victory. And did you know that even the military planes that crisscross our sky owe their flight to a runway that began right here on Fort Sam' We are still serving, leading with cutting-edge ideas and technology. Today, joint basing represents a new and exciting venture for our military. It is the manifestation of a process that will make us efficient and vibrant for the coming centuries and is deserving of our collective embrace. Our neighbors here in San Antonio will appreciate and support us the same as ever, remaining true to its nickname: "Military City USA." This much I have been assured. I am reminded also that there are many shareholders here and this military community will grow from over 60 to 100 and more tenants. Unlike other Joint Basing ventures related to BRAC, Fort Sam Houston does not have a single hierarchy or chain of command to aid in streamlining progress. Multiple individual stakeholder wishes are sure to bring new and unknown challenges. None the less, each will come to love this Fort as we do now, and they will find it to be an exceptional place to serve and grow. You see, as I talk to other commanders on Fort Sam, I am assured that excellence is the common and uncompromising goal of every command. Every person who serves here should expect no less and is welcome to participate in the collective vision for Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. Tradition will remain a part of our culture, and foremost is the role that noncommissioned officers play in maintaining standards. There is such a thing as NCO business, and it is what other nations envy most in our arsenal. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, as well as our Department of Defense civilian workforce, will see NCOs of all uniforms out front, leading, examples to us all of how joint services work for the common good. The final chapter for Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis is not written. At every turn, there is a sign of the value that DoD and this city and state places in Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. New construction and renovation are happening simultaneously. We, the current tenants of this land, owe it to our successors to provide a place that is better than what we inherited. To that end, I call on everyone here to be great stewards of our treasures, natural and manmade, new and old. Let those who follow look back to our generation with as much reverence as we have for the first military tenants of San Antonio. In my three decades of service, I have probably never served at a post that has meant so much to our nation's military. I will reach out to you in this and other venues in the months and years ahead. I am honored to be here with you today, commanding forces that today, as before, are the strength of our nation.