ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Sept. 7, 2011) -- Gen. Raymond T. Odierno was sworn in this morning as the Army's 38th chief of staff during a ceremony on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., near the Pentagon.

"I am humbled and honored to serve as the 38th chief of staff of the Army," Odierno told the crowd assembled in Conmy Hall.

"This weekend is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And I would just say that over the last 10 years, our Army has proven itself. Inarguably, (in) the most difficult environment this nation has ever faced. Our leaders of every level have displayed unparalleled ingenuity, flexibility, and adaptability. Our Soldiers have displayed mental and physical toughness, but most importantly, courage under fire.

"They have transformed the Army into the most versatile, agile, rapidly deployable, sustainable, strategic land force the world has ever known. I am proud to be part of that army. And I am proud to have the opportunity to continue to serve with these great men and women -- the next greatest generation."

Odierno now takes on responsibility for training, equipping, maintaining and sustaining an Army of more than half a million Soldiers.

A native of New Jersey, Odierno graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1976 with a commission in field artillery. During more than 34 years of service, he commanded units at every echelon, from platoon to corps, with duty in Germany, Albania, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United States.

Odierno served as commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq from September 2008 to December 2009. He then continued to serve as commander, United States Forces-Iraq, from January 2010 to September 2010.

Most recently, he served as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, where he oversaw that organization's role in joint concept development and experimentation, joint capability development, joint training, and force provision and management. U.S. Joint Forces Command was disestablished as of Aug. 31, 2011.

Odierno assumed responsibility for the Army from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who after serving five months as the Army's chief of staff, will move on to assume new duties as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff following the Sept. 30 retirement of Adm. Mike Mullen.

While Dempsey's tenure as the chief of staff was short, he said he's proud to have served.

"My brief tenure as CSA has produced a lifetime of memories," Dempsey said. "I now have a vocabulary of abstract words brought to life. Courage, determination, and commitment brought to life in places like ... well, actually, brought to life wherever you find Soldiers and their families."