Farewell Message from Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker

Monday April 9, 2007

The following is a farewell message to the Army from Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the 35th chief of staff of the Army.

Tomorrow we will stand on the parade field at Fort Myer and the mantle of Army Chief of Staff will pass to General George W. Casey. It has been a tremendous privilege and honor to serve alongside you - the Soldiers, civilians and family members - who make the Army the world's preeminent land force, the ultimate instrument of national resolve.

Upon becoming 35th Army Chief of Staff in August 2003, I issued an "Arrival Message" to the force. In that message I spoke of standing in an Iranian desert in 1980, on a moonlit night, at a place called Desert One, where eight of our comrades lost their lives and others were forever scarred. I spoke of keeping a photo of the carnage that night to remind me of the grief and failure of that mission and the commitment survivors of that operation made to a different future.

Having now been in this Army for almost four decades, and having seen the Army my father served in for 32 years before that, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that today's battle-hardened Army does, in fact, reflect the different "future" we envisioned.

Standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, the men and women of today's Army have remained focused on our nonnegotiable responsibility to the nation. For almost 232 years, the Army has never failed the American people, and it never will. We have been resolute in the pursuit of our four overarching strategies - providing relevant and ready landpower; training and equipping Soldiers to serve as warriors and growing adaptive leaders; sustaining the all-volunteer force composed of highly competent Soldiers who are provided a quality of life commensurate with the level of their service; and providing infrastructure and support to enable the force to fulfill its strategic roles and missions. Furthermore, instead of reigning-in our drive to transform during a time of war, we have leveraged opportunities in this conflict to establish and accelerate the momentum necessary to reshape the entire force into a more capable campaign-quality force with vastly improved joint and expeditionary capabilities.

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INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

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NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • After 3 Years, GI Still Missing (MH)
  • Katrina Claims Stagger Corps (EB | USAT)
  • Jump Start Tightening Border Gap (YS)
  • Ranchers and Army are at Odds in Old West (EB | NYT)
  • Four Army National Guard Brigade Combat Teams Notified for Iraq Rotations (ARNews)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • U.S. Soldiers Meet Iraqi Counterparts (MNF)
  • Al-Sadr to Followers: Fight Americans, not Iraqis (CNN)
  • Iraqi Police Force Continues to Lag Behind Army, Special Forces (EXM)
  • Patterns of War Shift Amid U.S. Force Buildup (NYT)

OF INTEREST

  • Fort Carson to Get New Commander (CBS4)
  • Transition Team Celebrates Iraqi Graduation (MNF)
  • America Supports You: Emeril Lagasse Cooks Up Some Combat Cuisine (AFIS)
  • Army Deploys About 300 Online Gaming Systems (SAS)

WORLD VIEW

  • U.S. Army Prosecutions of Desertion Rise Sharply (IHT | Story)
  • Intense Battles as U.S.-Backed Iraqi Troops Attack Mehdi Army (JT | Story)
  • U.S. Army to Train Ethiopian Army (ST | Story)
  • Bush Prays for Safety of U.S. Troops on Easter (RT | Story)

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

  • Zen (WR)
  • Combat Camera: Shoulder-to-Shoulder Teamwork in Iraq (TN)
  • Easter Service (AJ)
  • Open Letter to the Iraqi People from General Petraeus (BF)

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