New Army chief of staff delivers message

Gen. George W. Casey, Jr.
Army Chief of Staff

***image1***Soldiers, Civilians and Families of the United States Army, I am extremely proud to be taking charge of an organization that is rightly regarded as the best in the world. I have watched the men and women of our Army in action for the past several years in the most demanding combat environment.

I am proud of the courage, competence, and commitment of our Soldiers and civilians both to the ideals that made this country great and to making a difference in our world. You epitomize what is best about America. You and your families carry a heavy burden in today’s war, with a hard road ahead. Your willingness to sacrifice to build a better future for others and to preserve our way of life is a great strength of our nation.

In every generation, when faced with difficult challenges, Americans have risen to the occasion. Today, such heroes fill the Army’s ranks. It is your efforts that will make victory possible.

We are locked in a war against a global extremist network that is fixed on defeating the United States and destroying our way of life. This foe will not go away nor will they give up easily, and the next decade will likely be one of persistent conflict. We are engaged in a long war.

At stake are the power of our values and our civilization, exemplified by the promise of America, to confront and defeat the menace of extremist terrorists. At stake is whether the authority of those who treasure the rights of free individuals will stand firm against the ruthless and pitiless men who wantonly slay the defenseless. At stake is whether the future will be framed by the individual freedoms we hold so dear or dominated by a demented form of extremism. At stake is whether we will continue to expand freedom, opportunity, and decency for those who thirst for it, or let fall the darkness of extremism and terror.

We have been at war for over five years, fighting for our freedom, our security, and our future as a nation. We have made hard sacrifices. There will be more. Faced with such a long and difficult struggle, it is useful to remind ourselves that the Army exists to field forces for victory. We are in this war to win. We have fought this way since 1775. We always will.

As Soldiers, we will lead the nation to victory over this enemy. Our combat veterans know well the meaning of “Army Strong.” They have been “baptized in fire and blood, and they have come out as steel.” That steel endures. Our Warrior Ethos has it right:

• I will always place the mission first.
• I will never quit.
• I will never accept defeat.
• I will never leave a fallen comrade.

Seldom in our history have Soldiers faced greater challenges. We serve at a time when the stakes for our nation and our way of life are high, and the demands on our force significant. We will continue to reflect the very best of our nation by defeating the enemies of freedom and the proponents of terror, by defending our homeland, and by assisting our nation to build a better future for coming generations.

I could not be more proud to be a Soldier today and to stand shoulder to shoulder with you and your families during this time of great danger and uncertainty. Together we are, and always will be, Army Strong.

Editor’s note: Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. became the 36th chief of staff of the Army April 10, assuming the position from Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker. General Casey was the first commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries, until February. He had served as General Schoomaker’s vice chief of staff before deploying to Iraq in 2003 to assume command of the coalition.

(Information courtesy of the U.S. Army)