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2018 Army Birthday Dinner Speech Given by GEN Frederick Franks, Jr., USA Ret.

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Speech Given by General Frederick Franks, Jr., USA Retired

USAHEC CARLISLE PA

ARMY BIRTHDAY 2 JUNE 2018

 

YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SURPRISE AN OLD CAVALRYMAN, BOB! (MG ROBERT SCALES, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AHEC FOUNDATION). I AM SURPRISED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR VERY GENEROUS AND WARM INTRODUCTION. THANK YOU AS WELL FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AS CHAIRMAN OF THE ARMY HERITAGE CENTER FOUNDATION BOARD AND TO ALL YOUR BOARD MEMBERS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE TO ENABLE THIS MAGNIFICENT ARMY CENTER TO TELL THE ARMY STORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. THERE COULD NOT BE ANY MORE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR BOARD ALL THOSE IN AHEC FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE. IT IS GREAT TO SEE YOU AND DIANA AGAIN TONIGHT.

 

FELLOW WEST POINT CLASSMATES HERE, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TONIGHT. DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, FELLOW VETERANS, THOSE SERVING TODAY WITH SUCH COURAGE AND SELFLESSNESS AND YOUR FAMILIES. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

 

I AM HUMBLED AND HONORED TO BE HERE. THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING DENISE AND ME BACK HOME. I SAID TO DENISE WHAT BETTER WAY TO SPEND SOME TIME THAN TO RETURN TO OUR NATIVE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA TO TALK ABOUT THE US ARMY? WE GREW UP JUST 70 MILES EAST OF HERE JUST OUTSIDE READING. WE WENT TO THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL, WILSON HIGH SCHOOL, GRADUATED IN 1954. SO, IT IS GREAT TO BE BACK HOME. 59 YEARS AGO, TOMORROW 3 JUNE MY CLASSMATES AND I RAISED OUR RIGHT HAND AND SWORE TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION JUST AS THESE SEVEN YOUNG PEOPLE DID EARLIER ENLISTING INTO THE US ARMY. THREE DAYS LATER DENISE AND I WERE MARRIED AND WILL CELEBRATE OUR 59TH ANNIVERSARY NEXT WEDNESDAY 6 JUNE.

 

NOW FREQUENTLY, ESPECIALLY AFTER AN INTRODUCTION LIKE THAT I GET A LITTLE TOO FULL OF MYSELF, A LITTLE PUMPED UP AND I HAVE ASKED DENISE THIS QUESTION BEFORE, HOW MANY GREAT MEN DO YOU THINK THERE ARE IN THIS WORLD? AND SHE HAS A READY ANSWER FOR THAT QUESTION. SHE ALWAYS SAYS, ONE LESS THAN YOU THINK THERE ARE FRED. SOMETIMES I GET A LITTLE TOO FULL OF MYSELF AND ASK DENISE HOW MANY GREAT MEN THERE ARE IN THE WORLD AND SHE QUICKLY ANSWERS, ONE LESS THAN YOU THINK THERE ARE, FRED.

 

HAPPY 243D BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES ARMY!!

 

OUR US ARMY IS OLDER THAN OUR NATION IT SERVES SO PROUDLY. SINCE 14 JUNE 1775, (AND YOU CAN READ THE JOURNAL ENTRY INSIDE YOUR DINNER PROGRAM) AN UNBROKEN LEGACY OF SOLDIERS, DRAWN FROM ACROSS THE STRONG DIVERSITY THAT IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BEING THERE FOR OUR NATION TO WIN OUR INDEPENDENCE AND DEFEND OUR FREEDOMS AND WAY OF LIFE, HERE ON THIS CONTINENT, THEN AROUND THE WORLD DOWN TO THIS DAY 2 JUNE 2018.

 

WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE AND REFLECT ON THAT CENTERPIECE, THAT KEYSTONE OF OUR JOINT FORMATIONS. THAT ROCK OF OUR NATION’S DEFENSE OF OUR LIBERTIES. THE WORLD’S BEST LAND FORCE. THE US ARMY. HAPPY 243D BIRTHDAY!!

 

NOW I AM NOT A HISTORIAN BUT I LIKE OT HANG OUT WITH THEM, A PHRASE I BORROWED FROM GENERAL CARL VUONO WHO I HEARD USE IT MANY TIMES.

SO, I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT HISTORY, SOME THAT WE ALL HAVE STUDIED, THEN SOME I WAS PRIVILEGED TO LIVE MYSELF, AND TOGETHER SEE WHAT THAT REVEALS ABOUT THE ETHOS OF OUR ARMY OVER THESE 243 YEARS.

 

OUR NATION AND OUR ARMY BEGAN WITH IDEALS OF LIBERTY, OF SELF GOVERNMENT, INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS, OF WHAT JEFFERSON WOULD LATER CALL “WE THE PEOPLE” AND LINCOLN A “GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE”.

 

THOSE IDEALS CLASHED WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF KING GEORGE III LEADING TO ARMED RESISTANCE AT LEXINGTON AND CONCORD ON THE 17TH OF APRIL OF 1775. LEADERS IN NEW ENGLAND SOON PETITIONED THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN PHILADELPHIA TO FORM AN ARMY TO UNITE THE COLONIAL MILITIAS AT BOSTON UNDER A NATIONAL COMMAND. ON 14 JUNE 1775, THAT CONGRESS DIRECTED FORMING OF 10 REGIMENTS OF EXPERT INFANTRY UNDER NATIONAL AUTHORITY, SIX FROM PENNSYLVANIA, TWO FROM MARYLAND, AND TWO FROM VIRGINIA. I MIGHT ADD AS A POINT OF PENNSYLVANIA PRIDE THAT THE RESPONSE WAS SO GREAT IN PENNSYLVANIA THAT THREE MORE COMPANIES WERE FORMED. ALL 13 REPORTED TO BOSTON TO FORM THE NUCLEUS OF THIS NEW CONTINENTAL ARMY. ON 15 JUNE GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS NAMED COMMANDER IN CHIEF. HE RAPIDLY MOVED TO BOSTON WITHOUT FIRST GOING HOME OR SAYING GOOD BYE TO HIS WIFE, AND ASSUMED COMMAND THERE ON 3 JULY 1775.

 

243 YEARS AGO, THAT NATIONAL US ARMY WAS ESSENTIAL TO WINNING OUR FREEDOMS. THE FIRST TO FIGHT. THE HISTORIAN DAVID MCCULLOUGH SAID IN HIS BOOK 1776: “BUT IN THE LAST ANALYSIS IT WAS WASHINGTON AND THE ARMY THAT WON THE WAR FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. THE FATE OF THE WAR AND THE REVOLUTION RESTED ON THE ARMY. THE CONTINENTAL ARMY … WAS THE KEY TO VICTORY.

 

AMERICA CAN BE PROUD OF HER ARMY FROM THOSE BEGINNINGS TO THIS DAY. EACH GENERATION OF AMERICANS HAS STEPPED UP TO DEFEND OUR FREEDOMS AND LIBERTY, FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON WHO, WHEN APPOINTED COMMANDER IN CHIEF, SAID WITH GREAT HUMILITY BUT ALSO WITH TOTAL COMMITMENT, “I FEEL GREAT DISTRESS…THAT MY ABILITIES AND MILITARY EXPERIENCE MAY NOT BE EQUAL TO THE EXTENSIVE AND IMPORTANT TRUST: HOWEVER AS CONGRESS DESIRE IT, I WILL ENTER UPON THE MOMENTOUS DUTY AND EXERT EVERY POWER I POSES IN THEIR SERVICE AND FOR SUPPORT OF THEIR GLORIOUS CAUSE…” JOHN ADAMS WOULD DESCRIBE WASHINGTON TO HIS WIFE: AS MODEST, VIRTUOUS, AMIABLE, GENEROUS, AND BRAVE.

 

WHAT OF THE GENERATION SERVING NOW? ALMOST 470,000 ACTIVE ARMY SOLDIERS WITH ALMOST 30,000 MOBILIZED FROM USAR AND ARNG. 109,000 OF THOSE SOLDIERS SERVE OVERSEAS IN OVER 140 COUNTRIES, MANY IN HARM’S WAY AS WE ALL KNOW; ANOTHER 69,000 IN THE USA AND OUR TERRITORIES SUPPORT COMBATANT COMMANDS. ACCOMPLISHING TOUGH NATIONAL SECURITY MISSIONS: IN KOREA, IRAQ, SYRIA, EASTERN EUROPE, AFRICA, AND THE NOW ALMOST 17 YEAR-LONG WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. THEIR FAMILIES HERE AT HOME, SELFLESSLY SERVING, VOLUNTEERING, RAISING FAMILIES, WORKING IN THEIR OWN CAREERS. OUR OWN GRANDSON MICKEY BOZEK IS A CPT IN 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION WITH HIS FAMILY. COULD I ASK ALL THOSE SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY TO PLEASE STAND WITH YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. (APPLAUSE). THANK YOU.

 

THESE CHAPTERS IN OUR ARMY HISTORY ARE BEING WRITTEN ABOUT THOSE TOUGH MISSIONS, DEFENDING AMERICAN LIBERTY, ARCHIVED RIGHT HERE AT AHEC, ‘ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME’ AS THE INSPIRING MOTTO SAYS. AHEC ENSURES WE RECORD, REMEMBER, AND KNOW OUR INSPIRING HISTORY AND CELEBRATE THAT SELFLESS SERVICE, THAT NOBILITY OF COURAGE TO DEFEND WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE STAND FOR.

 

THE NOBLE SERVICE TO THOSE IDEALS OF LIBERTY AND SELF GOVERNMENT SINCE THOSE EARLY BEGINNINGS ARE OUR US ARMY CREDENTIALS, THIS UNIQUE INSTITUTION OF AMERICA, SO NOBLY SERVING AND FULFILLING DAILY THE TRUST OF OUR PEOPLE, BEARING TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE OUR FOUNDING BODY OF IDEAS IN OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND OUR CONSTITUTION. WE FOLLOW THE “THIS WE’LL DEFEND” MOTTO ON OUR ARMY FLAG DRAWN FROM THE 1776 WAR OFFICE SEAL AND SET ABOVE THE LIBERTY CAP. WHAT IS IT THAT WE’LL DEFEND? IT IS OUR LIBERTY, OUR UNITED STATES, OUR CONSTITUTION.

 

OUR ARMY DOES MANY GREAT THINGS FOR OUR NATION. BUT I BELIEVE THE MOST IMPORTANT DUTY IT DOES IS TO FIGHT AND WIN OR STAY READY TO DO THAT TO FULFILL OUR TRUST TO THAT MOTTO, ‘THIS WE’LL DEFEND’ AND TO OUR CONSTITUTION.

 

THIS NOBLE SERVICE IS CAPTURED BY GEN CREIGHTON ABRAMS’ STATEMENT INSCRIBED ON THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE HERE AT CARLISLE, JUST OUT SIDE ROOT HALL, AWC. THERE MUST BE, WITHIN OUR ARMY, A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND A DEDICATION TO THAT PURPOSE. THERE MUST BE A WILLINGNESS TO MARCH A LITTLE FARTHER, TO CARRY A HEAVIER LOAD, TO STEP OUT INTO THE DARKNESS AND THE UNKNOWN FOR THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF OTHERS.”

 

OUR ARMY’S HISTORY INDEED HAS BEEN WRITTEN ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME.

 

AT TRENTON AFTER DEFEATS ACROSS NYC AND NEW JERSEY, FROM LATE DECEMBER 1776 TO EARLY JANUARY 1777, WASHINGTON AND HIS SOLDIERS, ROSE TO THE OCCASION, THEIR TOUGH MISSION, AND HARSH WINTER CONDITIONS. THEY “STEPPED OUT INTO THAT DARKNESS”. NO COMPLAINING, NO WHINING. JUST FIND A WAY TO WIN. THEY DID SO AT TRENTON IN SPITE OF THE DEFEATIST ATTITUDE OF MANY OF THEIR COUNTRYMEN READY TO GIVE UP THE CAUSE. THEY MADE A DIFFERENCE AND TURNED THE TIDE OF HISTORY. THEN, AFTER THAT BATTLE, AND A SECOND WINTER CROSSING OF THE DELAWARE, WASHINGTON APPEALED TO HIS SOLDIERS AS ENLISTMENTS WERE ABOUT TO RUN OUT, ‘YOU HAVE WORN YOURSELVES OUT WITH FATIGUE AND HARDSHIPS, BUT WE KNOW NOT HOW TO SPARE YOU. IF YOU WILL CONSENT TO STAY ONE MONTH LONGER, YOU WILL RENDER THAT SERVICE TO THE CAUSE OF LIBERTY, AND TO YOUR COUNTRY, WHICH YOU CAN PROBABLY NEVER DO UNDER ANY OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE.’ THEY STAYED AND WENT ON TO ANOTHER VICTORY CATCHING THE BRITISH FROM BEHIND AT PRINCETON. (MCCULLOUGH 285-286). AN EARLY ETHOS OF NO QUIT TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE, BATTLE SKILL, SELFLESS SERVICE, LOYALTY AND DUTY, HONOR, VALOR, VICTORY. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

AT GETTYSBURG, WHERE I WENT FOR MANY YEARS WITH WEST POINT CADETS LED BY MY GREAT FRIEND AND HISTORIAN BG JACK MOUNTCASTLE HERE TONIGHT WITH HIS WIFE SUSAN. AS THE ARMY BEFORE IT HAD WON OUR INDEPENDENCE, THIS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC SAVED OUR YOUNG NATION BY THEIR VALOR AND SACRIFICE. THOSE WHO IN PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S WORDS “GAVE THAT LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION”; THEY GAVE US “A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM. LT ALONZO CUSHING, BATTERY A, 4TH US ARTILLERY, POSITIONED WITH THE PHILADELPHIA BRIGADE, KILLED IN ACTION THERE AT HIS GUNS ON THE THIRD DAY, DEFENDING THE UNION LINE AT THE POINT OF THE CONFEDERATE MAIN ATTACK WITH HIS FIRST SERGEANT FREDERICK FUGER NEVER LEAVING HIM. HE WAS AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY IN 2014 THE MEDAL OF HONOR. COURAGE. SELFLESS SERVICE, NO QUIT RESILIENCE, MISSION FIRST, DUTY, HONOR, SACRIFICE. VICTORY. AMERICAN SOLDIERS. OUR UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

NONE OF THIS HAS BEEN WITHOUT ENORMOUS AND SELFLESS SACRIFICE.

 

THIS WEEK WE STOPPED ON OUR 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF MEMORIAL DAY. ACROSS AMERICA IT IS NOW A SACRED DAY, TO HONOR AND REMEMBER THOSE WHO GAVE THAT LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO BEAR THE CONTINUOUS PAIN OF THEIR LOSS. FROM THIS CURRENT WAR, ALMOST 7,000 WHO HAVE DIED, OVER 4,000 FROM OUR US ARMY. WE ALL GIVE OUR DEEPEST RESPECT AND HONOR TO THOSE FROM THIS GENERATION AND TO ALL THOSE OF ALL OUR WARS DEFENDING OUR LIBERTY FROM OUR BEGINNINGS THROUGH 100 YEARS AGO OF WWI, WW II, KOREA, VIETNAM, DESERT STORM TO NOW. WE INSCRIBED ON THE WWII MEMORIAL WHEN I WAS HONORED TO BE A MEMBER OF AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION IN WASHINGTON IN FRONT OF THAT FIELD OF OVER 4,000 GOLD STARS, “HERE WE MARK THE PRICE OF FREEDOM.”

 

WE KNOW WELL THERE ARE OTHER COSTS WE CALL THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF WAR. WE HONOR OVER 1700 AMPUTEES FROM THIS WAR, OVER 1100 ARMY, GETTING BACK UP AGAIN AND GOING ON, “GOING THE DISTANCE AND BEYOND” (THEIR MOTTO), MANY CONTINUING TO SERVE, LIKE LTC(P) DAVE ROZELLE HERE TONIGHT WITH HIS WIFE KIM, AS I WAS BY OUR ARMY, WHICH FOR ME WAS LIFE’S GREAT PRIVILEGE, TO THE INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF PTS AND TBI THAT WE ALL ADVOCATE THAT THE BEST OF OUR MEDICAL SCIENCES PUBLIC AND PRIVATE BE DEVOTED TO TREATING AND HEALING.

 

DEVOTION, SELFLESS SACRIFICE. VICTORY. US ARMY.

 

THOSE OF OUR VIETNAM GENERATION. OUR ARMY SOLDIERS WHO REMAINED DEVOTED TO THEIR OATHS, THAT VERY SAME OATH THESE NEW SOLDIERS TOOK TONIGHT, EVEN WHEN THEIR SERVICE WAS DENIED RESPECT WITH BROKEN TRUST BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEY SERVED AND BY SOME OF THEIR LEADERS. THOSE OF OUR VIETNAM GENERATION. FROM REMARKS BY COL (RET) DR. BOB SORLEY HERE TONIGHT WITH HIS WIFE GINNY, “I TITLED MY REMARKS “ALSO GREAT” AND BEGAN BY OBSERVING HOW, IN RECENT YEARS, MUCH ATTENTION HAD BEEN FOCUSED ON OUR VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II, FAMOUSLY CHARACTERIZED BY TOM BROKAW AS “THE GREATEST GENERATION.” MORE RECENTLY, I NOTED, AMERICA HAD SENT NEARLY THREE MILLION SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN TO A WAR IN VIETNAM. THERE THEY SERVED, I SUGGESTED, WITH VALOR AND ABILITIES FULLY EQUAL TO THOSE OF THEIR WORLD WAR II COUNTERPARTS, BUT—PRIMARILY DUE TO IDEOLOGICAL CONTENTION SWIRLING AROUND THE WAR AND, INEVITABLY, THOSE WHO FOUGHT IT—THEIR SACRIFICES AND ACHIEVEMENTS HAD NEVER BEEN ADEQUATELY APPRECIATED, MUCH LESS ACKNOWLEDGED OR ACCLAIMED. YET, I SAID, THEY WERE ALSO GREAT.”  

 

LAST JULY AT FENWAY PARK BOSTON, ON THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME WITH THE YANKEES, THERE WAS A PUBLIC TRIBUTE TO THAT ALSO GREAT GENERATION, 800 OF US ON THE FIELD WITH 500 FAMILY MEMBERS, HUMBLED BUT PROUD OF OUR WELL AND FAITHFULLY EXECUTED SERVICE DESPITE NO HOMECOMING AND THE BROKEN TRUST. ONE, RICHARD WATKINS BROCKTON, MA, WAS WEARING A CAP; IT READS, VIETNAM VETERAN. NO REGRETS. DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY (HOLD UP CAP). I ASKED WHERE DID YOU GET IT? HE SAID I MADE IT MYSELF. HE SENT THIS ONE I WEAR PROUDLY. HE SAID I ALSO WROTE A BOOK. IT IS ONE WE SHOULD GET HERE, ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. WE CANNOT CHANGE WHAT HAPPENED AND THAT BROKEN TRUST BUT WE CAN VOW NEVER TO LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN. VALOR, NO QUIT TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE, BATTLE SKILL, DEVOTION. LOYALTY, DUTY, SELFLESS SACRIFICE. YES. ALSO GREAT. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

SOLDIERS AND LEADERS OF OUR 146,000 SOLDIER VII CORPS WHO ATTACKED 24-28 FEBRUARY 1991 250 KM IN 89 HOURS EXECUTING THAT ARMORED CLOSED FIST LEFT HOOK ATTACK FIGHTING AND WINNING THAT LARGEST TANK BATTLE OF SOUTHERN IRAQ AND NORTHERN KUWAIT IN OUR HISTORY AND WITH THE COALITION LIBERATED KUWAIT. PFC BRUCE HUGGINS, A TANK MECHANIC IN 1/37 ARMOR, THE VERY SAME ARMORED REGIMENT GENERAL CREIGHTON ABRAMS COMMANDED BREAKING THROUGH TO LIBERATE BASTOGNE IN WWII, HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, “THEY ASKED FOR OUR HELP AND WE’RE GOING TO GIVE THEM THAT HELP AND WE’LL FREE THAT COUNTRY. WE’LL DO OUR JOB, GO HOME, AND CARRY ON WITH LIFE.” LIBERATE KUWAIT. CRYSTAL CLEAR MISSION STATEMENT BY A PFC. HISTORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. AS GREAT MISSION CLARITY AS IN THE NOW DECLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTIVE OF EARLY JANUARY 1991. SPECIALIST SHAWN FREENEY, ALSO A MECHANIC, “IT LETS YOU KNOW THAT, WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, YOU’RE AROUND FAMILY. ALL OF US HERE ARE FAMILY—RIGHT HERE IS MY FAMILY.” YES FAMILY. TEAMWORK, SOLDIERS FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS FROM ACROSS AMERICA UNITED TOGETHER FOCUSED ON ONE MISSION AS A GREAT TEAM. A MOTHER OF 2D ACR TROOPER WHO SAID, ‘IT WAS TRAINING AND TEAMWORK THAT KEPT MY SON ALIVE”. PFC MCLEMORE INJURED IN TRAINING BEFORE OUR ATTACK WHO WHEN I ASKED HIM IN THE HOSPITAL WHAT I COULD DO FOR HIM ASKED ME TO GET HIM BACK TO HIS UNIT. SO, WE DID, WITH ME ON MY COMMAND BLACKHAWK TO HIS UNIT, 1ST SQUADRON, 2D ACR.

 

THE NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER IN 3D ARMORED DIVISION WHO SAID TO ME 15 FEBRUARY 1991, DON’T WORRY GENERAL WE TRUST YOU’. NOW THAT NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER CAPTURED AS NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS FREQUENTLY DO WHEN WE TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO THEM, ONE OF THE BASIC TRUTHS OF COMBAT LEADERSHIP. GAIN THEN MAINTAIN TRUST IN THE WAY WE PREPARE THEM FOR MISSIONS, BY THE WAY WE COMMAND AND LEAD OUR SOLDIERS IN COMBAT.  BY OUR DECISIONS AND JUDGEMENTS WE MAKE TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE MISSIONS AT LEAST COST TO THEM THAT FULFILL THAT BOND OF TRUST BETWEEN US AND THOSE ENTRUSTED TO OUR LEADERSHIP FROM ACROSS AMERICA .IN AN INSTANT THAT NCO CAPTURED THE BASIC TRUTH OF LEADERSHIP AND COMMAND, AS NCO’S FREQUENTLY DO WHEN WE ARE WILLING TO LISTEN TO THEM. EARN THEN SUSTAIN THE TRUST OF THOSE ENTRUSTED TO US FROM AMERICA BY THE WAY WE PREPARE THEM FOR THE MISSION THEN OUR DECISIONS AND METHODS OF COMMAND TO ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION AT LEAST COST TO THEM. STUNNED ME. INSPIRING AND DEEPLY MOVING TO HEAR SUCH DEVOTION AND WILLINGNESS TO GIVE IT ALL. RENEWED MY OWN DRIVE TO FULFILL THAT TRUST. I BELIEVE THAT TO LEAD IS ALSO TO SERVE. SO, YES, FULFILLMENT OF THAT TRUST IS WHAT WE DO, TO OUR SOLDIERS ENTRUSTED TO US IF WE ARE LEADERS, AND ALL OF US AS AN ARMY TO OUR OATH OF SERVICE AND TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. SELFLESS TEAMWORK, DISCIPLINE. NO QUIT TOUGHNESS. COURAGE. FAITHFUL DEVOTION. SACRIFICE. VICTORY. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

THIS GENERATION SERVING SO SELFLESSLY WITH GREAT SKILL, DEVOTION, AND COURAGE TODAY. CPT MARK NUTSCH AND HIS ODA TEAM 595 THE HORSE SOLDIERS IN 2001 WHO CAME LATER FOR ONE CLASS TWO YEARS IN A ROW TO MENTOR CADETS IN OUR BATTLE COMMAND ELECTIVE AT WEST POINT TO OUR OWN PA ARNG 28TH DIVISION SOLDERS NOW TF SPARTAN IN KUWAIT, TO ALL THOSE REPEATEDLY DEPLOYED ON MULTIPLE TOURS OVER THESE 17 YEARS AND YOUR FAMILIES, TO AMPUTEES GOING ON AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE LIKE LTC (P) DAVE ROZELLE, SSG ANDY MCCAFFERY, SFC LEROY PETRY ALSO MOH, SSG JOHN GOUDIE, COL GREG GADSON, CPT SETH NIEMAN TO MOH RECIPIENTS DENISE AND I HAD THE HONOR TO MEET, TY CARTER AND RYAN PITTS, TO THOSE I WAS PRIVILEGED TO TEACH AT WEST POINT, MAJORS ELI MYERS, JAKE VANKO AND SARAH JOHNSON. INDEED, ‘THIS WE’LL DEFEND’.

 

WHAT A STUNNING 243 YEAR HISTORY TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR. STARTING WITH HUMILITY AS WITH WASHINGTON’S ACCEPTANCE OF HIS DUTY. SERVING A CAUSE AND IDEALS LARGER THAN OURSELVES SO SELFLESSLY AND AT SUCH GREAT SACRIFICE. AS RECORDED ON THE STATUE NEAR HERE IN ANTIETAM NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD, CALLED OLD SIMON, “NOT FOR OURSELVES BUT FOR OUR COUNTRY”. WELL AND FAITHFULLY. HISTORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME. UNITED STATES ARMY.

 

JUNE 14 OUR ARMY BIRTHDAY IS A DAY THAT USUALLY PASSES WITHOUT MUCH PUBLIC NOTICE. LARGELY AWAY FROM PUBLIC VIEW, OUR US ARMY HAS EXECUTED ITS DUTIES FAITHFULLY AND SOMETIMES AT GREAT SACRIFICE TO SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES. THAT SELFLESS SERVICE, THAT SKILLED AND VERSATILE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY, THAT PRIDE THAT COMES FROM KNOWING YOU DID YOUR DUTY TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES AND DID IT HONORABLY, HAS LARGELY DEFINED THE US ARMY IN PEACE AND WAR. SUCH BEHAVIOR HAS BEEN ETCHED IN OUR CONSCIOUSNESS BY THE DEEDS AND ACTIONS OF THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US AND BY THOSE WHO SERVE NOW AND INSPIRE US DAILY.

 

OURS IS A MAGNIFICENT HISTORY ONE SOLDIER AT A TIME AT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF DEFENSE OF OUR LIBERTIES WITH TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO OUR CONSTITUTION. OUR ARMY IS THE KEYSTONE OF OUR JOINT FORMATIONS. AT AHEC WE CAN REFLECT ON THOSE STORIES AND HONOR OUR ARMY AND OUR NATION THESE SOLDIERS SO WELL AND FAITHFULLY SERVED AND WHO GAVE US OUR US ARMY IDENTITY THROUGH THE AGES. AN ETHOS AND AN IDENTITY OF COURAGE, SELFLESSNESS, SKILL AND ADAPTABILITY, VERSATILITY, HONOR, FAITHFUL DEVOTION, NO QUIT TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE, SACRIFICE, AND VICTORY.

 

IT WAS A LIFE’S PRIVILEGE TO HAVE WALKED IN THEIR RANKS AND SERVED SIDE BY SIDE WITH THEM FOR TWO DAYS SHORT OF 35 ½ YEARS, IN TWO WARS, WITH MY LIFE’S PARTNER DENISE AND ALL THOSE SELFLESS FAMILIES WHO SERVE WITH THEIR OWN BRAND OF COURAGE RIGHT TO THOSE OF YOU SERVING TODAY.

 

GOD BLESS THIS MAGNIFICENT UNITED STATES ARMY AND THE SPLENDID AMERICAN SOLDIERS WHO SO FAITHFULLY SERVE AND SACRIFICE TO STAND BETWEEN THE EVIL OUT THERE THREATENING OUR LIBERTY AND ALL OF US HERE AT HOME. THIS WE’LL DEFEND. GOD BLESS AMERICA. HAPPY 243D BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES ARMY. THANK YOU.

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