GEN Thurman Promotion Ceremony
FORSCOM HQs, Fort McPherson, Georgia
June 3, 2010

Ladies And Gentlemen, The Chief Of Staff of the United States Army, General George W. Casey, Jr.

Great to be here today. [LTG] J.D. [Thurman] come on up here. Every once in a while you get to do something that just feels really right. You know what I mean' And I know a lot of you guys are here to see if we're gonna go to go through with it.

But it's great to see so many faces from my past and from J.D.'s past. And J.D. said, "I have a lot of old friends that came from all over to be here today," and I said, "Well that's because you have a lot of friends." We go back actually to Fort Carson when he was lieutenant and I was a company commander in one of the infantry battalions down the street. And we served together in combat and we've been neighbors. And so Dee [Thurman], it's been wonderful for Sheila and I to be able to watch you and your best friend here go through your life and how you interact-and with the kids and grandkids all coming over here. Jamie and Miles and Effie and Andrew, thanks for coming today. I know your grandma and grandpa are very happy. Carrie and Scott couldn't make it today. Scott's in Iraq, and Carrie is not feeling very well, but I know they're here in spirit.

Now as I said, every once in a while you get the opportunity to do something that just makes great sense. And as I look back at what he's [LTG Thurman] done, he's been a great leader and cavalryman and a great aviator. And with aviation becoming such an increasingly important part of our force, having a senior aviator in the Army here in the Forces Command will bring another dimension to that. He's also one of our greatest trainers-where he had a great rotation as Brigade Commander coming out of [Fort] Stewart. And for that award, he got shipped out to that National Training Center to be the Chief of the Operations Group, one of the best and coolest jobs in the Army. [Then to Europe for a couple of months and get his Joint assignment] ticket stamped and then sent to the NTC as the Commanding General. And you're [assigned to the Pentagon] as the Director of Training in G3. And so J.D. will be the leader in charge of the Readiness Enterprise and of the Training Enterprise and in both of those areas he is [the best qualified to lead our Army].

I said we served together in combat. J.D. served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a battalion XO [the first time]. He was part of a new team there [in Kuwait in CLFCC] that led the hugely successful [ground invasion] into Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Probably one of the most successful military operations in history, and he did that as a C3. And then I saw him in Baghdad in really what was the toughest, most complex time that I saw in my time in Iraq. He led the Fourth Infantry Division through that period with calm and courage and accepted the missions [that I assigned him there.].

[J.D. is both] a comrade in arms and a neighbor. Like I said, I couldn't be happier for [your in this promotion]. Dee, come on up here. I think you know Dee and J.D. were high school sweethearts and been married for thirty-six plus years. Living next door, we get to hear the stories.

But she is [a great woman], and J.D. loves his wife. And it's not every wife who could follow her husband outside with a flashlight in their bathrobes in the dark hunting armadillos.

But anyway, [J.D.] I couldn't be happier to do this. You are the right person in the right job at the right time, and I look forward to our new association together. So without further ado, please post the orders.