Casey promises sustained programs

| October 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

Nancy Rasmussen
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

CSA maintains that Soldier, family programs won’t be cut out of budget

Following a Sept. 30 ceremony, Gen. George Casey Jr., Army chief of staff, takes time to talk with USARPAC Soldiers and family members, like Staff Sgt. Steed Simmons (left), noncommissioned officer in charge, USARPAC protocol. (Courtesy of U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)FORT SHAFTER — Gen. George Casey Jr., U.S. Army chief of staff, presented two prestigious awards, here, Sept. 30, and reassured Hawaii Soldiers and families that the promises made in the 2007 Army Family Covenant, or AFC, will not suffer when Department of Defense budget cuts are made.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, introduced Casey to the standing-room-only crowd and acknowledged his contributions to the success of the USARPAC mission.

Casey also re-emphasized the increasingly strategic importance of USARPAC’s presence in the Asia-Pacific area of operations and proclaimed this as, “the century of the Pacific.”

Noting the large number of family members present, Casey discussed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ intent to cut the defense budget by $100 billion, and squashed concerns that Soldier and family programs would be cut.

When Casey signed the AFC at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 17, 2007, along with then Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston, Casey commented on the stressors associated with seven years of sustained conflict in Afghanistan.

“It was immediately clear to us that the families were the most stretched, and as a result, the most stressed part of the force, and that what we were asking (of) those families was a quantum different than anything I expected we would ask,” Casey said, at that time.  

He continued by promising to provide Soldiers and their families with a level of support commensurate with their level of service.

“I know folks are very nervous that when resources come down, which they will, that the first thing to go will be family and Soldier programs,” Casey said, while here. “I’m here to tell you that we have sufficient funds to ensure that does not happen. And we will maintain the commitment we made to families in 2007 in the (AFC). If you take nothing else away from the visit here, please help me spread that word.” 

Earlier in the day, Casey joined 25th Infantry Division Soldiers at Schofield Barracks for an after-action review of recently completed pre-deployment training. 

He also commended a Soldier and a Department of the Army civilian employee at an awards ceremony attended by Fort Shafter Soldiers and civilians.

Casey presented Master Sgt. Brian Byington, USARPAC career counselor, with the Soldier’s Medal, which is awarded for performance of acts requiring personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. While vacationing at Disney World last year, Byington saved the life of a drowning civilian.

Casey also presented the Superior Civilian Service Award to Sandra Chun, director, Civilian Human Resources, for orchestrating a seamless transition from the National Security Personnel System to the General Schedule System, for USARPAC civilian employees, with 100-percent accuracy, 

“These individuals are great representatives of our noncommissioned officer corps and our civilian workforce,” Casey said. “Both groups (are) absolutely essential to the long-term health of the Army.”

Category: News

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