tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 15, 2015 7:00am-8:01am EDT
>> rate embodies this is the symbol army strong. rate is a big guy but even bigger is his personality, his passion and his heart. he devotes so much time to mentoring young leaders not just because the right thing to do but because he loves it. and his soldiers love him back. ray is just as likely to give you a bear hug as he is to give you a sturdy handshake. he speaks the with the shoulders always forward, his eyes always clear, arguments always sharp. each one buttressed by an unyielding commitment to his mission and its people. whether listening intently to a grieving family or looking a foreign leader is the i could deliver the honest truth, or shading stephen colbert said in front of soldiers, rate lives his life as his id division motto goes, steadfast and loyal. simply put, in the post-9/11 air, ray odierno sustained and
strengthened the u.s. army statute as the world preeminent land power. in the groundwork is laid in a battlefield commander, above all as chief of staff of the army, to guide the army's transition to confront future challenges will bear fruit for years to come. each service is our military unique and unrivaled capability. our planes fly by, our ships sail far, our marines act quickly. but it's our soldiers who are unmatched in their ability to seize and to dominate physical terrain, and human terrain. the help give our military and our nation an overwhelming edge entity make our people and making a better world for our children. america maintains that edge today, forged into long wars, sharpened in counterterror efforts around the world, including what must forever be a free world.
we must not take that for granted. we must keep owning that edge into the future. as the world changes we must change with it. justo stay unrivaled and postur, agile and ready, and army strong. that charge now falls to general mark milley, our 39th army chief of staff. these the right officer to lead the army over the next four years, to shape our force, to kenya restoring its readiness, to get there quickly, and to win as our nation expects of our army. mark is a leader, a warrior, and a statesman. one story. as it happened i was with mark in afghanistan at the disconsolate was attacked in 2013. and as we flew there i saw him take decisive command of the scene. in addition to decades of such operational experience, mark
clearly also as the strategic vision needed to build on what ray started. i have confidence. i know he will succeed. because he carries that same unyielding commitment to army, to soldier, antifamily. and in this case something ray odierno doesn't have, but mark milley has, and i do have, namely, the boston red sox. [laughter] [applause] i also want to thank polly in order leadership and service as yet another admired military spouse. thank you for supporting mark and for assuming this new post within. to general odierno, general milley and both your families, for your distinguished leadership, yourselves service enter believe that above all our
>> ladies and gentlemen, secretary mchugh. [applause] >> thank you. really, mr. secretary, the red sox? you couldn't tell me that before? sir, welcome. thank you so much. your daily guidance and leadership over not just army but the entire united states military. we are deeply appreciative both of the leadership but obviously for your making time to be with us. mr. chairman, welcome. thank you too, sir, for all that you do for joining us. and each and every one of our audience members. thank you so much for joining me in what is really, if not unusual, certainly special celebration. celebration of not one but two great americans, and two great
american families. i speak of course of army general ray odierno, his bride, linda, their amazing family, and also to welcome and congratulate the incoming chief of staff general mark milley, his bride and their family. and i want to begin by repeating what i said for years ago when we first welcomed ray and linda to the pentagon as the 21st sector of the army. i can't think of anything more important than this job. and i can think of few aspects of his job that are more symbolically important than this, ma transfer of authority from one chief of staff of the army to another. not with weapons, not with force as we have seen in so many other places across the world, but with honor, tradition, and yes,
reverence. today is indeed a credit to our democratic principles. indeed, a credit to our nation, but most important it is a credit to the selfless men and women of profound character and conviction who take up arms and donned the uniform in defense of our nation, our liberty, and our freedoms. as i know you all might imagine, this is a typically bittersweet moment. for we are rightfully celebrating the incredible career and contribution, of ray and linda, at the same time i am losing a battle buddy, a partner, and two good friends. in good times, and often and not so good times, the chief and i were tied at the hip. although i had to stimulate tiptoes to have that happen, but as anyone who has had the pleasure of serving with ray
will affirm, it's a great comfort to enter a room, a hearing for a ceremony within by your side, exactly what i like, a truly commanding presence. simply put, rate business find an office as i've ever known and the leader wholly committed to the army, in doing so the last four years at army headquarters. fully dedicated to the people and relationships that propel our mission, and to the broader strategy framed within the department of defense. more importantly, at all times he's been faithfully committed to the men and women of the united states army. to the men and women of the united states military. to all who wear the uniform and their families. as it is with me, ray in case that is what is at the pentagon office and view the marble marked fields of arlington cemetery. and on many days the view of
arlington is one of the most striking in our nations capital. on most days, it serves as a stark reminder of the often and irrevocable responsibilities and consequences of the position of chief of staff of the army. unlike general creighton abrams before him, ray early -- firmly believe soldier are not in the army, they are the army. it's always been his number one job to serve them well and to serve them honorably. whether it is fighting in tikrit for visiting the wounded were at walter reed, ray has been the leader, their kids lead with the quick mine, palestinians and a serving spirit. while the army has been his profession for more than 39 years serving this great nation and its people, protecting his
beloved army has always been his career. but there are so many of you here today, so many senior leaders, both active and retired and civilians, declared a true test of a legacy of ray odierno. as the secretary said there truly no earthly way to fully capture the breath that death of raise 39 years of service to the army, into the nation, at least not in this ceremony. -- breadth and depth. rate has made a difference edward he served in each post leading in which and lasting legacy to his army. his grandfather and his father also named ray hot in that life lesson and he should with his own family and soldiers. do the right thing, regardless of what is swirling around you. george marshall once famously said, all right straight down the road, do what's best and do
it frankly without aviation. to our nation's great benefit, ray has lived at adage every day for the past 39 years. ray, because of your efforts, our army will forever be in your debt. but i know you haven't stride, you haven't served alone. to lend and your three children, you've been a powerful and ready source of strength for ray and by so doing you served this nation. ray drew strength. for all that you've done, albeit sacrificed i recognize my thanks are really inadequate, but i hope that mine, combined with what really is hundreds of thousands of those whom ray has led express some degree the depth of gratitude we have to you as well. ray, i know your desire to make a difference will not end here.
and as you and linda we settled in north carolina, you will find to continue to serve the nation and help us to our next challenges. and i know as well your legacy, your leadership, your legacy of service will not just be remembered, but treasured. your kids and grandkids will see a bit more of you, no doubt, and your golf game will get what i'm told is a pretty needed boost, but as ray himself has said, much work remains to be done. and it's the character and commitment of our leaders that what kerry the days that lie ahead and that's why we have once again this morning term to one of our best. general mark milley is one of the united states military's most highly regarded senior officers and strategic commanders. i've had the privilege knowing mark since his earlier days as a two star command at the 10th
mountain division fort drum, new york, and army installation that was part of a congressional district i had the honor to represent. he's been a remarkable leader as well and i'm confident, i'm absolutely certain that they will be an exceptional chief of staff and member of the joint chiefs. mark has more than 34 years of exceptional leadership, as the secretary noted at every level. it is a rare mix of a forthright thinker and a lawyer's lawyer. and yes a deep appreciation in both the environment is entering at the daunting task at hand. as i said with his selection was announced, i have watched him leave soldiers overseas in afghanistan and iraq as well as adult and places like fort hood, fort drum, and most recently as the command of the united states army forces command. at all times he has led with
distinction both in war and peace. mark has the personal trust that each and every one of us, the trust to guide our army through thithese next critical phases te end as he takes to fly kind of you also take the momentum of his predecessors and to keep his eyes on the horizon of a bright future o views army, our nation and our soldiers. but mark, walkabout to the pentagon ranks. we are thrilled to have you here. i look forward to working with you in the weeks ahead. he is absolutely right leader for this job and we are all will -- as i said, given the toughest soldiers can't do it without support. at all of us greatly appreciate your wife, hollyanne, and the rest of your family, your son, daughter. for their willingness and support as you take on yet another tough assignment. suitable the ordinary -- families, thank you for what
>> ladies and gentlemen, general dempsey. [applause] >> thank you all for being here today for this great celebration of two terrific armies families. i'll begin by adding my own problem with to the old guard for everything to further country. often and always with distinction. let's give them another round of applause. [applause] i'm honored to be part of this occasion and to see so many distinguished guests and friends who included many great leaders of our military past and present. ray, congratulations. it's a privilege to be part of a celebration to thank you and linda of 39 years of exceptional service and to welcome mark and hollyanne. i'm other representing two groups. want the joint chiefs of staff and the other the former chief of staff of the army and i would like to begin by expressing the most profound compliment that
professional to officers could share with each other and that is simply well done. linda, it's appropriate to begin by thanking you for your strength and compassion for soldiers and their families, and for being a rock for ray, beginning of course in your high school days in new jersey especially through those 50 long months more than four years in iraq, and for so much more. for granted dark other beautifully military family represents to us everything that is great about being part of this military and about part of being a military family. and i want to thank tony, 80, mike and you for your incredible sacrifice and service, and for your resilience. our nation throughout its history has looked to his generals to lead soldiers during life and death struggles and the defense of the united states, it'd support of the principles we cherish. we are especially fortunate when history alliance leaders of
child and -- talent, passion and courage, which is really the case during your tenure, ray odierno. west point class of 1976 is alleged to be well represented here today. [cheers and applause] ever notice is put them way off on the side so they can't get into any mischief? from ray the days on the field of friendly strife, ray's been a soldier of the highest character respected up and down the ranks for his relentless drive, his sharp strategic mind, and most of all his complete devotion to putting first our men and women in uniform and their families. is always believed that helping them into tomorrow's leaders is our greatest strength and our best investment in the future. whatever the challenge, ray has always raised a passionate voice on their behalf, and he's given it to us straight. sometimes in words that i can't repeat in this setting.
ray come to stand among the giants quite literally of her armies history, and gcas a long and lasting shadow across the army and the joint force. you leave behind institution full of exceptional leaders capable of confronting the most complex challenges we face ahead. and i think he deeply for all you've done for our beloved army, ever building the bench behind you. your mark is not only in history books as the 38th chief of staff, but also in the hearts and souls of thousands of lives you've touched in iraq and across the globe. [background sounds] so first, a b-52 and now a c-17. they must like you. we wish you, linda, and your entire family the best and i'm extraordinarily well-deserved retirement.
personally we look forward to seeing you in north carolina at the rbl, which is code for the retired pentagon location. [laughter] this reminds me that it's a good time to end my remarks, because nothing i say can compare to the symbolism and energy you see before us. mark, now it's your turn. as an army will continue to learn and adapt. smaller than at any time in our lifetimes. different, certainly. the best in the world, you better believe it. doing with the nation asks, absolutely. and in doing so there's no more important mission and ensuring america's sons and daughters are ready. the best led, the best equipped and best trained force on the planet. i know you understand that and we thank you and hollyanne and your family for taking on the task. our nation has placed its trust in you both, and so have we.
short. first, i want to thank mr. secretary, secretary carter. thank you very much but i would be remiss if i didn't think secretary gates, phonetic, hagel for all i served under either incompetent or here in the pentagon. secretary mchugh, almost six years sector of the army, incredible dedication. great partner. thank you, sir. general dempsey, chairman, i can't thank you enough and your incredible leadership. thank you very much. to my fellow joint chiefs, great friends, and credible leaders who we've had a lot of tough issues we would face, and there's a lot of people who try to make a story about lots of infighting, and there's not. we understand the mission. we go forward together. would try to build the best force and it's been an absolute pleasure of mine to work with these true professionals it and want to thank our combatant commanders wh were out there one front lines every day ensuring that our nation's security remains the same. thank you all for what you do.
thank you for being here today. also want to thank all the retired general officers. almost all of them are mentors of mine. i want to thank all of the sergeant majors that are here, backbone of our army. and/or difficult for civilian guests, they decided to come today. so thank you so much. but i would be remiss if i didn't mention my classmates from the spirit of 76, 43 years ago -- [applause] forty-three years ago we are two weeks of getting done, probably many of us were not sure we would make it. but the point about what to make about this class is within the academy in 1970 to get a list of the most popular place to go. it took people of extraordinary character and commitment in order to sign up at that time. i think that's something special about our class that has held out through the years and we remain incredibly close. and i want to thank all of you for supporting me and continue
to support the army. so god bless all of you. beat navy. [laughter] applause the soldiers on the field represent all of our soldiers are quite i say that? because with its persian zone, whether it's the old guard, the white house guard, the fight for drum corps, they represent excellence. they represent the best of who we are. and as i look at their confidence, commitment and character, but i think about right now are the soldiers in iraq who are the best do we have, attempting to train and advise iraqi security forces i think of our soldiers in afghanistan continue to build an afghan army. i think of our soldiers in eastern europe, reassuring our allies. by the way, a soldier was event of the year in lithuania last year. that to our soldiers are.
-- that's who our soldiers are. there in the republic of korea supporting our allies, fighting the war on terror around the world. that's what i stated in his uniform so long, it's because of our soldiers. their dedication and commitment to this nation. i want to just take a minute to talk about our noncommissioned officer corps. what makes this different than any other army in the world are our noncommissioned officers. they are our standardbearers. they are what changed our army over the last 40 years, and that the opportunity to serve. it's in the changing nature of our noncommissioned officers that has transformed our army. and they continue to do that today. and i think back 39 years ago to sergeant first class christiansen and brooks, if it wasn't for them i would not be
standing here today. and it it's of those noncommissioned officers that continue to stand up and lead our young men and women, no matter how the difficult task is. to our officer corps, i truly believe, tremendous when i say this. i have never had a bad boss. maybe i was lucky. since i've been in the army. i had the opportunity to work for incredible leaders who took the time to mentor me, who took the time to train me, who underwrote the risks and the mistakes i made growing up. they've always been there for me at this continued to be here today. and because of them, in my opinion, we developed an officer corps like no other. and today as we stand here, we have the finest officer corps come in my opinion, in our nation's history. battle tested, adapted, flexible, innovative, able to accomplish any mission.
i have complete confidence in the officers that we have in our army today and it really to lead as to our uncertain future. that's what makes me proud to be in the army. i would be remiss if i didn't thank my families. i come from a strong worded family of italian descent, also lent his family who supported me for so long. they grounded in all the right principles. they told me about families, but closer, moral and ethical values of the most important thing they embedded in me was love of country. my father in law was one of the first landing class in normative. my father served in hawaii. during the attack. they ingrained in me what it was
about serving your nation. i am forever indebted to them. to my children tony, kate and mike, i can't thank you enough for the sacrifices you have endured. four different high schools, three different high schools, moving all around the world never wavering and always there supporting me. to this day tell me how proud they are that they had opportunity to grow up in the army. it makes me feel great is they are good people. they are grounded. they continue to live good lives. they continue to contribute, and that's what makes the most proud that i'm very proud to all three of you. thank you so much for everything. to my wife, linda. 43 years we've known each other. through west point, 339 years of the army, she's always been by my side when i graduated from
west point i told her, we are going to stay five years and get out. linda, my five years are up. [laughter] she is the epitome of selfless service. she always put others before herself. she's always been on my side through the good and the bad pitches always been the strength of our families. she's been in the role model for so many spouses throughout the army. and the reason is because she reason is because she always treated everyone with dignity, respect, and with a little touch of love. she sacrifice her entire life for me. i can never repay her for that. it's often hard for me to stand up here and make other people understand how much our spouses sacrifice. you don't understand. you don't understand everything that they do every day in order to make us a better army.
i don't believe there's any other profession that we count on our spouses to do so many things. and linda isn't the if any of that. pashtun is the epitome of that. one fact. the last 15 lend has attended over 500 memorial service at the i want you to think about that for a minute. they either of our families get most of the time i was not there because i was deployed, but she was there for our families. a dedication to our wounded warriors and everything that she's done, i simply can never repay you, honey. i love you with all my heart as you have made me a better man. thank you so much. [applause] to everyone out there who is wondering about mark and
hollyanne milley, i will say three things. mark milley is an incredible soldier. hollyanne has an incredible heart, and they love the army more than anyone. that's all you need to know about the milley's. this fund is in great hands. mark and hollyanne, we are so proud of you. congratulations to you. in closing, thank you. in closing, in a yankee fan, and by the way, is 3-2. i just want to point out that. i'm going to paraphrase a quote from lou gehrig when he said i'm the luckiest man in the world. i feel like i've been the luckiest man in the world to serve the army for 39 years, alongside incredible soldiers of tremendous courage, dedication and commitment. that's been my honor for 39 years. and i will never, never forget it.
our army is admired and keep the respected by our allies. the army is feared by our adversaries. our army is an essential part of the joint force, and one that will continue to be critical to our nation's future. and i know that they will continue to do whatever they're asked, whatever they might be asked to do it. they will be better prepared. the strength of our nation is our army. the strength of our army is our soldiers. the strength of our soldiers is our families. that's what makes us army strong. god bless all of you. thank you so much. [applause]
but there is some class of 80 out of princeton here, too. let's are you sound off. that was not very good. all right. just for the record, it's only the second inning. [laughter] because i heard they are showing up shortly and they're all card-carrying members of the red sox nation. good morning and welcome to all distinguished guests in town and friends and thank you all for being here. for your unwavering support for the united states army, the entire milley army is deeply honored by your presence. and for the old guard you will be done here in just a few minutes, so hang in there and we will be passing your we do short. i first want to start by thanking general ray odierno and his gracious wife, linda. as you heard, for 39 consecutive years of selfless service in both peace and war to our nation.
and for linda, you have been such an incredible leadership to all of us. not only spouses and families but for those of us in uniform as well. she's such an incredible example of, a positive example of resilience. she embodies what it really means to be army strong. to all army families to include all of those of us in uniform. you are, in fact, the giant of a man. but more importantly to being a physical giant, you're a moral giant. you have incredible moral courage. you have led our army through difficult times. you have done that with enormous grace and enormous distinction. and your legacy will absolutely live on in the years to come. and on a personal note, ray, and i again repeat that sounds pretty to pretty cool to call
you ray. i haven't quite figured out marty yet or lloyd. rod is always right. but as many of you know, it's been a real struggle for ray last couple of weeks, maybe a month or so. very difficult for them to give up the reins chief of staff of the united states army. why? because i am a red sox fan. but my son was born in manhattan. i lived two years in new york city. and ray i want you to know that i have a very special place in my heart for the new york yankees. and i would the second place. [laughter] -- that would be second place. to secretary carter, i want to especially thank you for your confidence in me to become the 39th chief of staff of america's army. i've known you for many years now, if you're exactly the right man to lead the entire defense of the united states through a complex and uncertain future.
i commit to you that i and the entire army will give you 110% in everything we do, and we will never fail. and two secretary mchugh, thank you. as previously noted, for almost six consecutive years as our army secretary. and i am keenly aware that i am the last in a long line of chief of staff that it stood by your side, and i am more even more keenly aware that you, too, are diehard yankee fans. at least publicly. but i want you to know full well for the record that northern new york really was part of the red sox nation during the times of the massachusetts state colony it was part of the great state. and i will always to my grave keep as a closely guarded secret that you one time admitted to me
at fort drum, new york, in the closest the privacy that you are indeed a closeted member of the red sox nation so the score is really 3-2. but i fully understand that as a former congressman from northern new york and upstate, you can never actually admit that. but i thank you nonetheless for your confidence and just for general dempsey, yes, yet another yankees fan. an irishman to boot so he gets some points for that. but thank you for your great leadership, sir, and thank you for being a great chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and i look forward to serving with you in the months and years ahead. and for the fellow service chiefs and all fellow generals and sergeant majors, and all the representatives of our partner nations, all distinguished guests, thank you all for being here. thank you for supporting the army. i want to single out sergeant major daily. i want to thank them on behalf of of me and the entire army for
being outstanding noncommissioned officer. and with them today is also master sergeant best was my first sergeant. both of them from start to finish represent all that is good about our army. and they represent the incredible noncommissioned officer corps of this united states army. so thank you all for coming. and i'm very grateful to see many friends and colleagues and mentors here. each of you have had a profound impact on my personal and professional life. many of you flew in from all over the world as high school classmates, high school hockey coach, the princeton hockey team is here flying from canada and england and all over the world. some of us didn't make the pros but a lot of us try. my college roommates of yesteryear, and all of them are really not. to celebrate. you really are just to confirm actually eventually graduated. [laughter] and friends from the 10th
mountain, fort hood, fellow company committed from the seventh division and fifth crew, so many others, thank you all for being here. and as the chief and others have mentioned, before the represent us of our army, third united states africa, the oldest unit in the army of what a remarkable job they do every day every week, week in, week out all year long. and how about one more round of applause for the old guard? [applause] most important i want to thank my family. as the chief has said, i guess i'm the chief no, i don't calling anymore. as ray has said, our families are our strength. so it is with me, for the last 35 years. both my mother and my father had
passed, but they were members of our nations greatest generation who proudly serve in uniform in world war ii with my mother and a hospital in washington state attending to the wounded from the pacific. and my father with the fourth marine division slugging it out in a bloody campaign to making the assault landing in saipan, and finally iwo jima. no not here physically, they like all of us in uniform, all of our parents have shaped us in ways that will be with all of us forever. both my brothers -- my brother in santa here with us today, i want to publicly thank them for their unwavering support to me, our army and our nation. i am unbelievably lucky to have on my site an incredible woman in hollyanne pictures been my guiding light, my inner strength that has kept me going through the toughest of times.
she's been a constant source of inspiration and love. and like many other army families, so many army spouses, she had to be a single parent through multiple deployments in iraq, afghanistan and many other places. and through countless days and hours of relentless training, she has just completed this past week 96 hours ago her 30th move by driving a u-haul to from fort bragg to fort myer. that is representative of army strong. and most importantly she raised our two wonderful children, our daughter mary margaret and our son peter. and want to thank both of them for their love, to support and their sacrifice throughout so many years. and i'm so proud of the both of them. for it is our children, our children are the real reason that we in uniform all serve.
some say it's education, some say it's money or for a variety of other reasons. no. is for others. we serve for others the most importantly, we serve for our children. and as citizens of these united states, we were granted a gift, the most precious gift of all, the gift of freedom. and that is a very, very, very expensive gift. for it is paid for in the sacrifice in the blood from those who came before us. and it is our responsibility, the responsibility of the living to pass that gift along, to pay it forward to the next generation, to the next group of children. and today that gift is being paid for all over the world by
soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, soldiers of the united states army at this moment, great soldiers, are deployed and engaged in combat operations across the globe. they are simultaneously screwing adversaries and assuring allies, building increase partner capacity -- scurrying. providing images support, disrupting terrorist networks. whatever they are, american soldiers are displaying courage, commitment and character. they are demonstrating unparalleled confidence and agility, and no matter the children, how complex the environment or how dangerous the situation, our soldiers when. and just a very short distance from here, just 100 yards or so, that are so many line in perpetual rest that have given
that less full measure of devotion to ensure that we remain free and enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. those soldiers, those sailors, those marines, those airmen are all forever soldiers of freedom. and it is our job now to carry the torch into the future. we are, in fact, the best equipped, best trained and best led army in the world. and we must stay that way if we want to remain a free people. we will adapt, we will change, it is given for our army. we are an organization that has met the challenge for over 240 years. we will change yet again to meet the challenges of the future. but there is no cheap way to change. more importantly there is no cheap way to buy freedom. the only thing more expensive than fighting and winning the war is fighting and losing a
war. and winning wars is what the united states army is all about. the are many who think wars can be one only from great distances, from space, from the air in from the sea. unfortunately, those views are very, very wrong. war is an act of politics where one side tries to impose its political will on the other. and politics is all about people. and people live on the ground. we may wish it were otherwise, but it is not. wars our ultimate decided on the ground where people live. and it is on the ground where the united states army, united states marine corps and the kind of special operations forces must never ever fail. and to succeed in the unforgiving environment of ground combat we must have forces that have both capacity
and capability. both sides and skill. they must demand. they have to be equipped, and they better be trained. and they will be well let. we must adapt combat. is america we have no lunch or of a single opponent. we have to be able to fight guerrillas and terrorists all the way up through nation-states military. if we do not maintain our commitment to remain strong, in the air, on the sea, and yes, on the ground, then we will pay the butcher's bill in blood. and we will forever lose the precious gift of our freedoms. as you chief of staff i will ensure that we remain ready as the world's premier combat force. readiness to fight and win in ground combat and will remain the united states army's number one priority, and there will be