Gen. Dempsey becomes 37th Army chief of staff

| April 14, 2011 | 0 Comments
John McHugh (left), secretary of the Army, swears in Gen. Martin Dempsey (right) as the 37th chief of staff of the Army, at Joint Baser Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., April 11. (D. Myles Cullen | Army News Service)

John McHugh (left), secretary of the Army, swears in Gen. Martin Dempsey (right) as the 37th chief of staff of the Army, at Joint Baser Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., April 11. (D. Myles Cullen | Army News Service)

Rob McIlvaine
Army News Service 


ARLINGTON, Va. — Gen. Martin Dempsey was sworn in as the Army’s 37th chief of staff, Monday, surrounded by family, mentors, his 1974 West Point classmates, the secretary of the Army and the secretary of defense.

“I’m confident that Martin Dempsey will bring the same passion and dedication to building the Army’s next generation of leaders, guiding them with strength and vision, as he has to every other position during his impressive career,” said Robert Gates, secretary of defense, during the ceremony on Summerall Field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, here.

“Marty, you are truly a Soldier’s Soldier, and I know the Army is in able hands,” Gates said.

“His rise to this great height is yet another one of those classic American immigrant success stories,” said John McHugh, secretary of the Army, with a laugh. “One can only imagine how different his life might have been had his family not decided to leave New Jersey and move across the river to New York state.”

McHugh said that he’s grateful to have Dempsey as a partner in facing the challenges of a nation at war and the realities confronting an Army that is stressed, strained and facing vastly different times.

The warm, sunny day gave proof that America’s banner will yet wave, when 1.5 pounds of powder shot forth from the three-inch guns of the Salute Guns Platoon.

The Continental Color Guard heralded the flags, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps played the traditional field music and the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band marched the field — all members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment or the Old Guard.

With tongue in cheek, Dempsey observed that April 11 has seen some of the worst defeats throughout the years. On that day in history, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the throne and was exiled to Elba Island, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur was fired by President Harry Truman.

Dempsey said he would work hard to change the course of this date.

“My commitment and expectation to this great Army is that we will work on strengthening the bond of trust among those with whom we work, among whom we support and among those who march with us into battle,” he said. “On that foundation of trust, we will overcome any challenge that we confront in the future.”

To sum up, Dempsey called on the words of Ben Franklin who said, “‘Well done is better than well said.’ So beginning right now, I’ll get to work on delivering on some of these promises,” Dempsey said.

McHugh added that while goodbyes are an inescapable part of Army life, to say goodbye to Gen. George Casey Jr. has been especially difficult.

Dempsey’s first assignment was in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he served as a scout and support platoon leader and squadron adjutant. Following other duties, he earned a master’s degree in English at Duke University and taught at West Point, and then he earned another master’s degree in national security and strategic studies at the National War College.

Dempsey served as the commander of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad in 2003. He then helped train the Iraqi army and police as commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq.

His last assignment was as commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, after stepping up as acting commander of U.S. Central Command.


Category: Army News Service, News

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