Initial Thoughts from General Ray Odierno – 38th Chief of Staff of the Army

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno was sworn in Wednesday as the Army’s 38th Chief of Staff during a ceremony on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. Odierno now takes on responsibility for training, equipping, maintaining and sustaining an Army of more than half a million Soldiers. Below are his initial thoughts to the U.S. Army as the 38th.

38th Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno

Today is like no other time in our history.  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, such as transnational and regional terrorism in places like Yemen, Somalia, North Africa and Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.  We have the uncertainty of the Arab Spring, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and challenges of rising powers.  All of this is underpinned by fiscal constraint.

Despite the challenges, we confront the future from a position of great strength.  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; the strength of our Soldiers is our Families.  This is what makes us Army Strong.

Along with the Secretary of the Army, in the coming weeks I will share thoughts on our way forward.  This includes sustaining our All-Volunteer Army, providing depth and versatility to the Joint Force, and ensuring flexibility for defense of our interests at home and abroad.

I am proud to serve in your ranks, filled by great men and women that willingly serve our country.  You are courageous, confident, competent, and compassionate. You live our Army Values 24/7 in all you do. Discipline, high standards, and fitness are your watch words.  You are the best our country has to offer.  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.

//Original Signed//

Raymond T. Odierno

Chief of Staff, U.S. Army