By Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the ArmySeptember 21, 2011
It is a pleasure to be here at Fort Bragg, a beautiful post, home to so many of our great leaders and Soldiers -- past and present. Thank you all for joining us here. It is a tremendous honor for me to host this ceremony for one of our Army's finest organizations and leadership teams.
Distinguished guests: I'd like to take a few minutes to recognize the Family; Ginny -- Dave's wife. His daughters, Amy a Captain, in the Medical Service Corps with the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. At least she won't have to travel to see her family when she returns and Melissa who teaches and lives in North Carolina and who will marry Mr. Thomas Royer in 2012. His sons, David who lives in Washington DC and works for the Navy and Andrew a Firstie at West Point,with a 4.0 GPA and the Captain of the football team. Dave's brother, Doug, his wife, Caroline, and their family from New York. Doug works in the financial sector.
Dave comes from a family with a sense of service. His father, Rod, lives in Pennsylvania and served in the Japan with MacArthur's Eighth Army for two years.
Dave possesses the proven credentials to be in one of the most important positions in our Army as we look toward the challenges of the future. He's a superb warrior with a deep love of his Soldiers and an imaginative leader. Having spent the better part of the last decade leading Soldiers in Iraq and most recently in Afghanistan, Dave is the right leader to ensure they are ready for War. Additionally, he is down to earth and passionate about caring for our Army's most precious resource -- Soldiers and their Families.
Throughout his career, Dave has taken on the toughest jobs and met every challenge head-on. Put simply, he has spent his entire adult life leading and training Soldiers, and then teaching others to lead and train. Exactly the right formula to lead this great command.
With all of his experience in leading and training, it is no surprise that he is one of our shining examples of a well-rounded, well-educated and adaptive leader.
As accomplished as Dave is, it's important for us to remember that he has another vital partner in his efforts. Ginny has been serving alongside Dave every step of the way. She's been leading Family Readiness Groups since before they were called Family Readiness Groups -- and she's been a dedicated servant of our Army Families in military communities everywhere she has ever been. Her energy and dedication as a mother and leader is infectious to those around her.
In her spare time, Ginny is also a CPA -- In fact Ginny, I have a few budget questions for you after the ceremony if you have a moment...
Ginny--Linda and I thank you … and we're so pleased to have you and Dave at the helm of FORSCOM.
It is almost impossible to overstate the enormous mission of FORSCOM today. You are responsible for training and equipping over 750,000 Active, Guard, and Reserve troops for deployment overseas. And, for nearly a decade, you have been doing it at a pace of more than 150,000 Soldiers a year -- all while dealing with the impact of BRAC on your community. I appreciate all of your efforts.
As you all know, our Nation just paid tribute on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11 to the nearly 3,000 innocent victims. I would just say that since that tragic day, our Army has proven itself in arguably the most difficult environment this nation has ever faced. Our leaders at 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 and sustainable strategic land force the world has ever known. Future Security Environment
Today is like no other time in our history. It is a time of uncertainty and historic change. We face a multitude of security challenges, such as transnational and regional terrorism in places like Yemen, Somalia, North Africa and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. We have the uncertainty of the Arab Spring and the proliferation of nuclear weapons and we face the challenges of rising powers. All of this underpinned by our own fiscal challenges.
Our Record of predicting the future has been far from perfect; the ability to prepare for it is well within our reach. We will continue to provide the Nation the trained and ready-land forces it needs to prevail in current wars, even as we prepare for the future. To do this, our focus will be on preserving the All-Volunteer Army and strengthening our Profession of Arms based on implicit and universal trust. Trust is the bedrock of our honored profession -- trust between each other, trust between Soldiers and Leaders, trust between Soldiers and their Families and the Army, and trust with the American people.
We will continue to build on our leaders' current experience and improve leader development systems; cultivate a versatile mix of capabilities, formations, and equipment; continue our efforts to enhance capabilities of our Soldiers; and maintaining the focus on Army Families.
Despite the challenges, we confront the future from a position of great strength as Nation's force of decisive action, extremely relevant and highly effective for a wide range of missions. Our Army will continue to be the best equipped, best trained, and best led force in the world. Our strength rests on a solid foundation -- a foundation built by a combat-tested force that has fought with courage, conviction and a sense of purpose.
Forces Command built that foundation -- the scope of FORSCOM's responsibility is huge -- it is our Army's largest Command. It has been the key to our success in providing ready forces to Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and around the globe since 9/11. Rod and Ginny are the right team to lead this organization and our Army into the uncertain future.
The strength of our Nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our Soldiers; the strength of our Soldiers is our Families. This is what makes us Army Strong!