Odierno assumes chief of staff position

| September 8, 2011 | 0 Comments
Gen. Raymond ­­Odierno receives oath from Secretary of the Army John McHugh during a change of responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., as Odierno's wife, Linda, looks on, Wednesday. Upon completion of the oath, Odierno became the Army's 38th chief of staff.

Gen. Raymond ­­Odierno receives oath from Secretary of the Army John McHugh during a change of responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., as Odierno's wife, Linda, looks on, Wednesday. Upon completion of the oath, Odierno became the Army's 38th chief of staff.

Army News Service

News Release 

ARLINGTON, Va. — Gen. Raymond Odierno was sworn in, Wednesday, as the Army’s 38th chief of staff during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., near the Pentagon.

Odierno assumed responsibility for the Army from Gen. Martin Dempsey, who after serving five months as the Army’s chief of staff, will assume new duties as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when Adm. Mike Mullen retires Sept. 30.

“Our Army has proven itself in arguably the most difficult environment we have ever faced,” Odierno said in a welcome letter. “Our leaders at every level have displayed unparalleled ingenuity, flexibility and adaptability. Our Soldiers have displayed mental and physical toughness and courage under fire. They have transformed the Army into the most versatile, agile, rapidly-deployable and sustainable strategic land force in the world.

“Today is like no other time in our history,” he continued. “We remain at war, and our top priority is to win the current fight. It is also a time of uncertainty and historic change. We face a multitude of security challenges … underpinned by fiscal constraint.”

Once sworn in, Odierno took responsibility for the training, equipping, maintaining and sustaining of an Army of more than half a million Soldiers.

“Despite the challenges, we confront the future from a position of great strength.” Odierno said. “Our Army will continue to be the best-equipped, best-trained and best-led force in the world. The strength of our nation is our Army, the strength of our Army is our Soldiers (and) the strength of our Soldiers is our families. This is what makes us Army Strong.“

A native of New Jersey, Odierno graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1976, with a commission in field artillery.

During more than 34 years of service, he commanded units at every echelon, from platoon to corps, with duty in Germany, Albania, Kuwait, Iraq and the U.S.

Odierno served as commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq, from September 2008 to December 2009. He then continued to serve as commander, United States Forces-Iraq, from January 2010 to September 2010.

Most recently, the general served as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, where he oversaw that organization’s role in joint concept development and experimentation, joint capability development, joint training, and force provision and management.

“You are the best our country has to offer,” Odierno added. “I look forward to seeing you as I visit your camps, posts, stations and operating bases. Thank you for your steadfast dedication and loyal service to our nation.”

(Editor’s Note: Information was added from Odierno’s initial thoughts letter.) 

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