the

Secretary of the Army Arrival Ceremony

good afternoon and welcome to historic

Joint Base myer-henderson Hall

originally established as fort Whipple

in 1863 and changed to Joint Base

myer-henderson Hall in 2009 its main

purpose was fortification in the defense

of Washington since its inception Joint

Base myer-henderson Hall has been the

home of horse cavalry artillery and

infantry today it is home to the old

guard the United States Army Band and

the United States Army Garrison before

today's review begins the United States

Army Band Pershing's own presents a pre

ceremonial concert featuring the

following musical selections of official

West Point March and army strong

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whoa

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once again good morning and welcome

today the United States Army Military

District of Washington represented by

the soldiers of the third United States

infantry regiment the old guard and the

United States Army Band Pershing's own

welcomes the 23rd Secretary of the army

participating in today's review from

left to right is the United States Army

Band Pershing's own formed in 1922 by

then Army Chief of Staff General John J

Pershing the United States Army Band is

the premier band of our senior service

Pershing zone provides musical support

for ceremonies and special events in our

nation's capitol and throughout the

United States the United States Army

Band is under the direction of Colonel

Andrew Ashe and is led by drum major

Julian Ayers elements of the old guard

include Delta Company commanded by

Captain David hunter and led by Staff

Sergeant Lucas Coe POSCO next on line is

hotel company commanded by Captain Mark

teradata and led by sergeant first class

O'Neill right next on line is honor

guard company commanded by captain

Adrian char and led by First Sergeant

Russell O'Donnell following is the

commander-in-chief's Guard patterned

after the unit created by General George

Washington in 1776 to be his personal

guard the commander-in-chief's guard is

commanded by captain Andrew to lone and

led by sergeant first class John Suggs

the last

online just in the continental musicians

uniform is the old guard Fife and drum

corps during the American Revolution

musicians wore the reverse colors of

their parents infantry unit the men and

women of the old guard Fife and drum

corps maintain this tradition by wearing

red coats instead of the infantry blue

the Corps is led today by drum major

John parks and to the rear of the

formation are the 56 state and

territorial flags of the United States

commanded by Captain Michael Wolff and

led by sergeant first class Emanuel

Moore

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ladies and gentlemen moving into

position is the commander of troops for

today's ceremony

Colonel Jason Teague our key commander

third United States infantry regimen the

old guard

since the days of the American

Revolution the colors have been one of

the most important elements of a

military unit therefore taking the

center of our formation in just a moment

and bearing the national color is the

nation's foremost color team the third

Infantry's continental color guard led

by Staff Sergeant Colt Stafford ladies

and gentlemen please stand for the

advancing of the colors

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Oh

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please be seated

the history of the third United States

infantry regimen reflects the growth and

development of our nation fifty-five

well earned battle streamers two

valorous unit Awards three Meritorious

Unit Commendation z' and five superior

unit awards attest to the old guards

record of bravery in action and

achievements during peacetime in 1922

the War Department granted permission

for the old guard to pass and review

with bayonets fixed the old guard will

now fix bayonets to the traditional beat

of the drum

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ladies and gentlemen taking the

reviewing stand is the reviewing

official for today's ceremony the

Honorable Mark Esper 23rd Secretary of

the army accompanied by the hosts

general mark Milley 39th chief of staff

of the army ladies and gentlemen please

stand as honors are rendered and remain

standing for the invocation offered by

chaplain Colonel Brian Walker

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let us pray father gathered to welcome

the 23rd secretary of the armoring dr.

Marcus Berg

we first want to express our thanks as

army family members to be part of a

lineage of service sacrifice and

commitment to duty that extends back

through conflicts great and small to

that first group of Patriots who took up

arms in the defense of freedom we are

grateful that in a world all too often

divided by racial and religious

prejudice we are able to unite on a

common ground of loyalty respect

integrity and selfless service although

we pray for peace we acknowledge you we

live in an uncertain world and thus ask

that you were blessed and anoint dr. s

Burris he leads us to defend against and

defeat those who would seek our nation's

harm finally whether at home or abroad

provide all with the courage to live

lives of moral excellence reflective of

our high calling as members of America's

Army in your name we pray amen

please be seated

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ladies and gentlemen please stand for

the plane of the United States national

anthem

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please be seated

ladies and gentlemen general Milley

oh what a great day it is for the army

who the liberal oh come on little army

hey look at let me first welcome

everybody here and you know in front of

you represents the best of America in

front of you is a third United States

infantry the old guard and they do

ceremonies like this frequently they

were up in the freezing cold the other

night at Dover bringing back one of our

fallen heroes they go around the country

and represent the greatest army on earth

and they bury our dead and give

ceremonies for a living and these are

wonderful wonderful soldiers so how

about a round of applause for all of

them

[Applause]

and I want to thank everyone again for

coming out today and freezing

temperatures we were gonna do this

outside but secretary asked for studies

from Pittsburgh couldn't stand the cold

so he had to do it inside but I want to

welcome everybody today for the arrival

ceremony of the 23rd Secretary of the

army this morning we had the pleasure to

have Secretary of Defense mattis swear

in dr. Esper as our 23rd secretary and

and now we have the honor of doing an

army welcoming ceremony and there's many

many distinguished people in the crowd

in fact in my view all of you are

distinguished in so many ways and we in

uniform are deeply appreciative of all

the support that all of you give to our

army but I did want to single out a few

recognitions we have a member of

Congress here and many members of the

congressional staff are here and for

those of us in the army and really in

the military we should always remember

that the United States Congress is our

board of directors all 535 members they

are the ones who write the checks and in

fact they are the people's

representatives and we are the people's

army and we are bound and sworn to

defend the people of America so thank

you for the congressional members and

staffers that are here today to

represent the people I'd also like to

recognize we have many many generals in

the in the audience but four in

particular four or five in particular

former Chiefs of Staff we have general

vano

general Sullivan general Ryan Moore

general Shinseki with a former AFRICOM

commander general Hamm in the former

Korea commander and vice chief of staff

of the Army General to Lally thank you

all for making your presence here today

and also amongst us or many at deshays

representing the Allies and as you heard

general mattis this morning the country

with allies does very well in this world

but a country without allies fair is

really relatively poorly so I want to

thank all of you all the at deshays

representing America's friends and

partners around the world for being here

we also fight as a joint force and

secretary Spencer is here from the Navy

and also several under secretaries and

assistant secretaries from the Navy and

Air Force and many of our joint force

brothers and sisters in uniform are here

we the army are just one part of a big

machine the American military and a

great machine it is but we fight with

our brothers and sisters in the Navy the

Air Force the Marines and the Coast

Guard also there's some special friends

of secretary Esper that I hear too many

to recognize I think the entire

community of western Pennsylvania is

here so I'll leave that to secretary

espera but I do want to single out a few

more additional people Under Secretary

of the army Ryan McCarthy is here and

vice chief of staff of the army Jim

McConville and this army is truly

blessed to have their leadership as we

move into the future and they are doing

a great work running the army day-to-day

and they're also blazing the traps and

trail forward into the army of the

future through modernization initiatives

so thank you both for being here and you

know 90 percent of the United States

Army are not officers they're enlisted

and we are blessed with the finest

senior enlisted soldier the Army has

ever seen in sergeant major of the army

Dan Dailey and his great wife Holly so

thank you both for being here

you know secretary espera he didn't get

here by himself you know it's a it's an

amazing thing and I know it's kind of a

CNN news flash but every one of us has a

mother and and I want to thank Paulie

secretary Esper's mother for being here

without her and without her true

leadership and guidance bringing him up

we wouldn't have Marquez for today so

thank you ma'am

for doing such a great job with your son

his sister's all three of them are here

with the nieces and nephews and of

course his kids and lovely spouse are

here with Luke Jack and Kate so Luke is

25 years old and he works here in DC for

Senator McCain up and hill as a staffer

I graduate from University the 4.2 GPA

very impressive it gets better as you

get younger with Jack who's 22 just

graduated Virginia Tech although he's

still looking for a job he graduated 4.5

so anyone in the hiring business feel

free to ask him at the reception

afterwards and Kate who's our it was a

freshman at Virginia Tech and she is

already in exceeding both their brothers

and by far exceeding her father she has

got a four point eight so we're very

very proud of all three of them but I

have to tell you that for all three of

you kids that the secretary Esper has

sacrificed a lot over the years and he

could never have made it to where he's

at today with it without your love and

and your support throughout all the

years of his sacrifice both in uniform

and in public service so thanks to each

of you for doing what you do

and then you know secretary was lucky

David Urban's in the crowd David where

are you David Urban well yet he didn't

make it he build so a long time ago when

secretary espera was assigned to the

Screaming Eagles London first Airborne

Division a guy named David Urban was

also a sign there and David and and then

mark went out and and David urban set

him up on a blind date and he met Leah

and they have since been gloriously

married for 28 consecutive years and

they're in their 29th year of marriage

and Leah has been an army spouse on

active duty she has supported him while

he was in the garden of reserve

supported him in all of the various

duties and responsibilities he's had

over the years she's been an active

member of Family Readiness Group she's

currently a volunteer at the USO and she

personally knows the sacrifice it takes

to build a resilient army family as she

watched her husband go off to the first

Gulf War so Leah thanks so much thanks

so much for what you do for our army you

know like I said today's a very special

day and we have the 23rd secretary and I

might say that 7 out of the 23 have

occurred on my watch in the last two

years that's true I can name him McHugh

Fanning Murphy Fanning again spear

McCarthy and now Vesper so lucky 17 he's

here to stay

I talked to him this morning after it's

secretary matt has talked to him and he

promised me that he would work late

nights get up early do PT and all that

and he's here for the long haul and I

believe him he's been a member of the

army family since birth he comes from

the great community about 30 minutes

outside of Pittsburgh called Uniontown

Pennsylvania and as you all know in this

room our greatest general General George

C Marshall also hails from Uniontown

Pennsylvania and that's got to be quite

a community to produce both general

Marshall and Mark Esper and the only

down side of secretary Esper coming from

Uniontown is he happens to be a Steelers

fan which there

having some problems this year they're

13 and 3 and and he does like you know

you know our major dailies also from

Pennsylvania and anything south to

Connecticut's considered the Confederacy

if you're from Boston so daily always

calls Pennsylvania the motherland but I

want to remind both of you that up in

the holy land of Boston we still have

the New England Patriots and yes there's

been a little spat in the last 24 hours

but we're not concerned about it as run

away to our sixth Superbowl to beat the

Steelers so won't be a problem but

anyway I want to thank I want to thank

the secretary from being from the great

state of Pennsylvania even though he

went to a second-rate school up along

the Charles River called Harvard and he

really what he whispered to me the other

night in confession he actually came to

me I couldn't find father Hurley and he

said he said to me he said bless me

chief for I have sinned and I have been

I've been rooting for the Steelers for

all these years but I'm actually a

closeted Patriots fan what he said

that's what he said and he also said you

know the other day I saw Tom Brady on

the field with three refs and I was for

the first time of life I witnessed for

the greatest Patriots in Patriot history

that's what s percent so hey look at you

know all kidding aside we are blessed to

have mark Esper as our secretary and you

know I talked to his three sisters in

his mother and they clearly have an army

background because they observed all the

rules of operational security and

wouldn't tell me anything so what I did

was I did what a lot of people do in

Washington as they go to the deep state

so I went to the deep state and I talked

to his children and I assured his

children that I would keep the sources

anonymous but they told me a few things

and I went to other members of the deep

State his classmates from West Point and

of course the the keeper of the deep

state I went to him Mike Pompeo he was

there this morning and I said I got to

get some information here I mean you are

the director of the CIA I gotta have

some information on Esper so absolutely

they all told me and and I have no

problem guarding my sources of Rick

French and Steve Ballantine and Mike

Pompeo and David Urban and and of course

the kids so your your secrets are for

sure secured with me and and here's what

I learned and this is not fake news this

is actual eyewitness accounts that

secretary aspera spends three hours a

day watching the dishes he's a neat

freak and he cleans up the house

according to his kids and wife when the

house never needs cleaning I don't know

I don't know what to make of that maybe

that goes back to be sparox I'm told

that he wears shorty shorts around the

house along with baggy pants and because

Jack doesn't have a job yet

secretary Esper forces Jack to go out in

the yard and pick up a conch so I don't

know these are just I witness accounts

so I you know because West Point's a

public university and we the taxpayers

we pay for that place I don't know if

anybody knows for that but we do and

because it's public all the information

about West Point is available on the

information highway so I went on the web

and I went out there and I after talking

to the deep State I got a couple of

leads and I went out there on the

information Highway and here's what I

learned I learned that at West Point

secretary Esper had a whole bunch of

nicknames one of them was troop but

there were others which actually I won't

well I can say gig that's okay the

others I'm gonna leave off because we

are in a family friendly environment

we're live streaming right now but he

had a whole bunch of nicknames I also

was had available his GPA and he's an

intellectual standout to be sure but at

graduation as it turned out he was a 2o

and go so he just barely made it just

above rod Rodriguez from the class of 76

ten years earlier his discipline was

solid that was for sure he had very low

tolerance for nonsense at his roommate

and he logged a mere two hundred and

forty four hours on the area a two

century man imagine that clearly

understanding the rules of West Point

and not only that but this guy was an

athletic giant mark I mean look at him

today it doesn't quite look that way but

he was an athletic giant at West Point

is a member of the karate and judo clubs

where he was soundly thrashed in every

fight according to David Urban so

actually none of that is true I actually

did make all that up that all

really is fake news and I really don't

even know those names that I just

mentioned I actually graduated with a

3-2 GPA he had zero hours he was the

commander of the 1st regiment he's like

the model cadet and he was so dedicated

that he went to British jump school and

taking instead of taking leave over the

summer so this is a guy who showed early

signs of intense discipline and I'm sure

he still has that today but I do know

even though I don't know for sure all

the West Point stuff I do know the rest

of the story and I know that Mark Esper

is outstanding in every way both his

time in uniform is time and other jobs

both in civilian and public sector he

personally knows the hardships of being

an active-duty soldier he served with

honor and distinction as an infantry

officer in a wide variety of positions

he was an infantry platoon leader he was

at OPA tune leader as well as a rifle

platoon he was a company XO and he was a

battalion assistant s3 in the fame 187th

infantry the ROK asan's

one hundred and first Airborne Division

and the only reason he's in the rock

asan's is because he wasn't good enough

to get in the 506 but he did serve in

combat during Desert Storm he served

with distinction earning a Bronze Star

he's assigned to the Ranger training

Brigade as a as a Ranger instructor and

then later commanded a rifle company

under them Lieutenant Colonel Abizaid or

now general retired Abizaid and third of

the three to five infantry invite chenza

Italy he was selected to attend that

second-tier Ivy League school on the on

the Charles River where he earned his

master's degree up at Harvard and then

his PhD at GW here locally he served on

the army staff as a strategist in a war

planner and along the way he earned the

coveted Ranger tab Pathfinder badge

Air Assault badge and his senior

parachutist swings along with a bunch of

other awards and decorations and after

his active duty service he then joined

the National Guard and later the Army

Reserve serving in both the Virginia

Guard with the fame 29th division and

the DC guard here locally where he's

deeply involved in mobilization planning

and a variety of other activities

finally putting the uniform away in 2007

retiring as a lieutenant colonel

Marquess Perez no sunshine soldier he's

a combat veteran and he's proven himself

through the hardship of service for over

two decades in all three components of

our army in both peace and war but

that's not good enough that's not good

enough to be selected to lead the third

largest organization in the world in the

foundation of that joint force I was

talking about earlier he not only has

the experience of the army and the deep

knowledge of how the army runs and how

things operating and around the Pentagon

but he also has deep knowledge of

Capitol Hill the Department of Defense

think tanks in industry and he served in

a wide variety of positions as a Deputy

Assistant Secretary of Defense and

policy the national security adviser to

the Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist

the policy director for the House Armed

Services Committee a professional staff

member for the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee the legislative director and

senior policy advisor to then-senator

truck Hagel and a chief of staff at the

Heritage Foundation and concurrently he

was vice president of the US Chamber of

Commerce's global intellectual property

center and also the vice president for

defense and international affairs at the

Aerospace Industries Association and

most recently as vice president for

government affairs at Raytheon that's

his record and his record is one of

exceptional competence but still that's

not enough it takes much more than just

a record in competence to be selected

and then served as the Secretary of the

army

it also takes commitment compassion and

most of all character to lead this army

and dr. Esper has all of that and then

some he's all in and he left the

lucrative civilian career to answer the

call to the colors at a time of great

uncertainty in the world his nation and

his army needed him and when asked he

did not hesitate to say like Joshua send

me he is

always done that from west point to

being a paratrooper to serving as a

citizen soldier in the garden reserve

he's always a men a man of great

compassion as well as commitment for our

soldiers and the families and just the

other night he and the vice chief of

staff of the army spent many hours in

the freezing cold at Dover bringing home

one of our fallen heroes from the

battlefields of Afghanistan he

personally knows the pain and the

sacrifice of war and he knows that

firsthand and his compassion for those

that risk it all in defense of this

great nation runs deep and it runs true

in mark Esper and most importantly he's

a man of enormous personal integrity who

lives the cadet code of duty honor and

country day in and day out he has a

spine of titanium steel that is not

going to bend to the temporary drama's

of the day in DC and I've seen him up

close now for some time and he has the

army static line like a good jump master

and he will not waver he will never fail

to do the right thing for our nation our

troops in our army regardless of the

consequences to himself this man dr.

mark Esper is truly going to be an

extraordinarily effective and successful

Secretary of the army and it's good it's

good that he's here it's good that we

have a strong leader because our army

faces turbulent times ahead as general

mattis said just this morning the world

today is the most complex and demanding

that he has seen in four decades of

service he charged us to be prepared for

war to increase the lethality of our

force to continue to build alliances

with a friends and partners and to

reform the institution so balancing

current operational requirements in this

unpredictable and increasingly dangerous

world full of challenge

threats and uncertain budgets against

the needs of the army both currently and

in the battlefields of the future today

we've got 180,000 soldiers deployed

around the world in support of our

geographic combatant commanders engaged

in combat and non-combat operations we

have soldiers that have helped destroy

Isis and are cleaning that up with its

remnants in both Iraq and Syria

we've got soldiers right now on the

cutting edge advising assisting and

fighting alongside our partners in the

Afghan army and national security forces

we've got soldiers training

shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies and

partners in many European nations

maintaining a line of deterrence and

equally important our soldiers continue

to provide support to our citizens most

notably

and most recently across Houston Florida

and Puerto Rico helping these regions

who were absolutely devastated by

natural disasters to recover and resume

normalcy but perhaps most importantly

right now as a situation becomes

increasingly dangerous and more

uncertain we have thousands of soldiers

training hard every day on the

Demilitarized Zone in Korea and tens of

thousands of more soldiers here in the

continental United States standing ready

for that call if it is needed while we

in uniform while we in America while we

pray for peace we the United States Army

will prepare for war and our enemies

need to know that the American soldier

we want peace but we are ready to do

whatever is necessary to defend these

dollars and defend the United States of

America our job is to be ready to be

ready for combat to deter a war but to

fight and win if deterrence and

diplomacy fails that is our solemn task

for this nation and we are and will

remain ready to engage in the intense

bloody unforgiving crucible of ground

combat against any foe any time any

we're simultaneously we need to prepare

for the readiness of tomorrow and to

modernize our army it's imperative that

we do that now as we all know the

character of war is changing and we must

adapt or find ourselves unready or

irrelevant for a future fight and unread

enos results in paying the butcher's

bill with the blood of American soldiers

in an unforgivable sin for the senior

leaders of our army we must have the

right structure in the processes the

right technologies we must have the

right weapon systems and we must have

all of that at the right time we've

begun this evolution with the

establishment of army futures command

and the ongoing review of our entire

acquisition portfolio and under the

leadership of secretary esperan

secretary McCarthy and the vice chief of

staff McConville and many other set army

senior leaders I have absolutely no

doubt we will get our army modernised

and prepared for the future so that

America remains free in our life liberty

and the pursuit of our happiness a

preserve for generations to come it will

not perish from this earth secretary

asper dr. Esper you now have the most

important mission you've ever been given

in your life you will climb that hill

you're going to cross that river with

the greatness that you've always shown

from the plains of West Point from the

hometown of Uniontown all the way to

volunteering yet again to serve our

nation and I as a chief of staff I'm

honored to say to you that on behalf of

all of the soldiers the civilians and

our families mr. secretary welcome back

to the army and we are proud to call you

our 23rd Secretary of the army army

strong

[Applause]

Oh

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ladies and gentlemen secretary Esper

well thank you very much general Milley

for that very kind and generous

introduction it means a great deal

coming from you

I can't say enough about it except to

say that in show business they say you

never want to follow kids and pets

except if you're following the chief of

staff the army because he gives such a

great performance I was just wondering

if if I could yield my time back and let

you come back up and entertain us some

more because you do such a wonderful job

I found myself entertained sitting there

but I do want to thank you publicly for

all of your years of dedicated dedicated

leadership your service both in

peacetime and war and to you and your

bride as well for all that you've given

the army and and am I about to you is to

be your last secretary and to serve you

and our wonderful officers NCOs and

soldiers to the best of my ability as

you said there are a number of

distinguished visitors guests here today

I'd like to welcome and thank members of

Congress and their staff my fellow

service secretaries we also have

undersecretary McCarthy who has been an

outstanding under undersecretary vice

chief of staff McConville sergeant major

of the army Dailey we have a number of

retired general officers former Chiefs

of Staff I've come to know and thank

them for being here and for their

counsel as well as some combatant

commanders that general Milley also

noted also many many under secretaries

assistant secretaries many are former

friends I have former colleagues from

the hill here today that I want to

welcome fellow Rangers Rock asan's and

blue Falcons with whom I shared many

great experiences classmates from the

West Point class of 86

whose friendship and whose friendship

and courage never quits thank you for

being here and so many many other

friends and guests too numerous to list

I just want to thank you I'm honored by

your presence events like this just

don't happen they represent a tremendous

amount of work by a number of people

dedicated Americans who or who labor

behind the scenes so I want to thank the

Military District of Washington Fort

Myer the army protocol team and everyone

else whose efforts make these types of

events appear very easy

that said I especially want to thank the

old guard and Pershing Zone you look

great and sound extraordinary so thank

you for your participation having done a

few reviews and parades in my past I

know that some of you are very anxious

for me to hurry up so I will do my best

to

get off the stage as quickly as possible

and finally I want to thank my family

and my mother my three sisters and their

families and of course my wife Leah and

my kids for their support their

encouragement and their uncanny ability

to keep me grounded

that said punishments will be doled out

tonight for all the information you gave

the chief of staff and we have many

chores to do this weekend as the chief

mentioned that this morning had the

great honor of being sworn in as the

23rd Secretary of the army by Secretary

of Defense mattis nearly 32 years ago

this coming summer I swore the same oath

on the plane at West Point as a brand

new cadet and for over 25 years I had

the privilege the privilege to wear the

uniform of the greatest and most lethal

most lethal ground force in modern

history and I would say in all of

history over the years I was on to

serving some of the best active and

guard infantry units in the army one

hundred and first Airborne Division the

82nd Airborne Division the 29th Infantry

Division of the Virginia guard three

great units whose history is written in

blood from the beaches and drop zones of

Normandy to the battlefields and forward

operative operating bases of the Middle

East I was privileged to attend the

Army's top training and leadership

schools serve on three separate

continents in defense of our country and

fight under the nation's colors as a

screaming eagle in the 1991 Gulf War so

I think I understand well the challenges

of military service the importance of

readiness the rigors of wartime

deployment and how it all impacts our

soldiers and their families and

especially the families throughout my

military career I was fortunate to serve

with America's best the soldiers NCOs

officers and civilian employees of the

US Army some of whom are here today the

selflessness and vigilance keep our

great nation safe who serve for love of

country and whose character inspires us

all I've learned a great deal from all

of them and would not be here today for

many of them so special thanks to all

them throughout the ages who have

supported me

people soldiers are the Army's greatest

asset their welfare welfare and

readiness will always be my top priority

as the chief noted the Army is at a

critical inflection point in its history

not unlike what it faced at the end of

other long wars

except the one that we've been fighting

in now for 17 years hasn't ended we are

now challenged to address the rise of

aggressive near pure adversaries in Asia

and in Europe where our soldiers

continue to fight terrorist groups

abroad reassure our allies at home whose

lives around the globe and help us

reassure our allies around the globe and

help our fellow Americans here at home

whose lives have been devastated by a

natural disaster and I would be remiss

if I didn't point out those soldiers who

while often off-duty risk their lives or

give their lives in support of their

fellow Americans in the past two weeks

we we have seen soldiers jump into the

fray of a terrible train accident in

Seattle to help others and just recently

a young soldier from the New York

National Guard rescued several folks

from a burning house family members and

friends before giving his life so he

could help others on top of all this

fiscal pressures at home continue and

the lack of budget predictability

severely impacts the the ability of the

military to do its job in my first few

weeks of secretary it is clear to me

that the most difficult task the army

faces is ensuring that we are ready for

today's fight loss simultaneously

preparing for future ones in my first 30

days I've been able to watch the first

Cavalry Division train at Fort Irwin

meet with the Global Response Force at

Fort Bragg preparing for a no notice

deployment and visit with our troops in

combat in Afghanistan and just 36 hours

ago with a heavy heart I joined the Vice

President of the United States to

welcome home the remains of one of our

fallen heroes at Dover Air Force Base

these experiences have galvanized me in

my vow to leverage my skills my

experiences all my energies working with

the great leadership we team we have

general Milley under secretary McCarthy

vice chief of staff McConville and

sergeant major of the army daily to make

the hard choices that will ensure we are

ready whenever the war toxin sounds as I

said at my Senate confirmation hearing

my first priority is and will remain

readiness ensuring the total army

Regular Army National Guard and Reserve

is prepared to deploy fight and win

across the entire spectrum of conflict

with the army engaged in over 140

countries around the world to include

combat operations in Afghanistan and

Iraq training rotations to Europe to

deter Russia and for deployed units in

the Pacific defending against North

Korea readiness must be our top priority

this means recruiting and retaining the

best our nation has to offer ensuring

these young men and women are well

trained and well led and equipping them

with the best weapons and technology

available every unit every unit must be

prepared to deploy and accomplish its

mission my second priority is

modernization building capacity and

capabilities in the longer term this

means growing the force while

maintaining quality reshaping it to be

more robust and successful in all

domains and modernizing with the best

weapons and equipment available to

guarantee clear overmatch in future

conflicts for modernization to be

successful though the current

acquisition must be overhauled this

includes improving how requirements are

set empowering acquisition personnel to

be successful ensuring accountability

prototyping and demonstrating systems

early and evolving the private sector

much much much more in short we must

provide our soldiers the tools they need

to fight and win when they need it and

I'm confident that the new futures

command we are designing will do just

that while the other well the

department's other leaders and I will

continue to make the case for more

robust predictable and sustained defence

dollars the army must exercise better

stewardship of its resources so my third

priority is reform to ensure this I

intend to play a very active role in

streamlining the service reducing

bureaucracy and ringing in efficiency

out of non operational organizations and

processes we must free up time money and

manpower to be utilized or invested in

our other priorities finally we must

continue to build strong alliances and

partnerships around the world countries

are trained together fight well together

and those that fight well together

are most likely to win together in

addition to these three focus priorities

I also highlighted two enduring

priorities in my first message to the

force a few weeks back the first was

ensuring that our soldiers civilians and

their families are well led well cared

for and that we must offer them

rewarding professional opportunities and

a sound good quality of life these great

Americans deserve nothing else and

nothing less

the second enduring party was

asked and asked I made of all members of

the army family and that is a

recommitment by all especially our

leaders - the Army's values this

includes treating everyone with respect

and dignity collaborating broadly and

always always always doing the right

thing I've always found that the Army is

at its best when it works and fights is

one team and with these challenges we

face ahead a recommitment - these values

will serve us well and I'm sure I've

gone on too long but I hope you get a

good sense of my passion my enthusiasm

and my total commitment to the job ahead

and my complete commitment to our

soldiers or NCOs or officers and their

families so to everyone gathered here

today let me reassure you that your army

is ready to fight and win when the

nation calls and all of our soldiers

family makers lawmakers army Sabine's

and grateful citizens and citizens thank

you for what you do on a daily basis to

make our army better our country safer

and the world more peaceful it continues

to be the greatest honor of my life to

serve with you thank you

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Oh

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ladies and gentlemen the army saw

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the United States Army is honored to

have presented today's special ceremony

we ask that you please remain at your

seat while the official party and family

departs thank you for attending and

enjoy the rest of your day