"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or
ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any
hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the
survival and success of liberty."
-- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
Thousands of Americans
Send Thanks to Troops
Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press
Nov. 2008 – Since 6
a.m. Nov. 17, more
than 114,000 Americans
have paused to
text a message of
gratitude to the
through the “Giving
already feels like a
campaign, because from
the thousands and
thousands of messages
that have come in
seeing that the
American people really
just want a chance to
said Allison Barber,
secretary of defense
public liaison, of the
America Supports You
America Supports You
is a Defense
and corporations with
military personnel and
their families serving
at home and abroad.
Major mobile wireless
Sprint Nextel, and
T-Mobile, will provide
access to the Giving
Thanks program. And,
regular text messaging
rates apply to every
message sent through
the Defense Department
program, there are no
additional costs to
send a message of
which officially began
at 6 a.m. Nov. 17, and
ends at midnight PST,
Nov. 22, already has
received more than
114,000 messages of
thanks, according to
the tally board on the
America Supports You
“I think we got off
to a great start,”
Barber said, adding
that she thinks the
desire to thank the
troops will spread
throughout the public
in the coming days.
“What you’ll see
over the next several
days is that more and
more people will be
looking at how to let
Americans know how to
text message and thank
That phenomenon began
over the weekend with
talk of the “Giving
Thanks” program at
sporting events, on
programs and even a
Sunday news show. Tim
Russert, host of
“Meet the Press”
encouraged his viewers
to text their support
to the troops during
“During this week of
Thanksgiving, let our
troops know we’re
thinking about them
said. “You can send
your message of thanks
by texting to
All of the messages
received express the
for the military and
the sacrifices the
making. Some messages
are longer, others are
much shorter but just
as powerful, like the
one from a supporter
in Pennsylvania who
wrote, “You are
heroes of the
Each message like the
one from Pennsylvania
will receive a
response thanking the
sender for thinking of
the troops this
In response to the
public outpouring of
sent in statements of
gratitude as well.
Most, like the one
from Rick, a Marine
stationed in Iraq,
carry the same
sentiment; the troops
are glad to know they
still have support
Rick wrote, “I’d
like to thank everyone
back home for their
continued show of
support for those of
us deployed around the
world. It means a lot
knowing that we’re
not alone over here in
Barber said her goal
is to give everyone in
the country who has
the ability to send
text messages the
opportunity to send in
a message like the
“That’s a pretty
big goal,” she said.
“If we can find and
opportunity to invite
people to text our
troops, and to have
them invite their
friends (to do the
same), that’ll be
success for us.”
Can Text ‘Thanks’ to the
Still Motivated, Inspired by Troops
Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
May 2008 – What keeps a military man
like Marine Gen. Peter Pace,
motivated? For the Vietnam veteran
with nearly 40 years service who now
serves as the military’s
highest-ranking officer, the answer to
such a question is simple: talking to
Dr. Edward Snyder,
dean of the Chicago
Graduate School of
Marine Gen. Peter
Pace, chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff,
as the keynote speaker
at the University of
Chicago School of
conference in Chicago,
May 18. Photo by Staff
Sgt. D. Myles Cullen,
“Serving the nation’s men and
women in uniform is not a burden;
it’s an honor, and I’m proud to
have the opportunity to do it,” Pace
told about 1,000 students and alumni
here today attending the 55th annual
management conference of the
University of Chicago Graduate School
Following his speech on leadership,
Pace answered questions from the
audience. He talked about how he keeps
his balance, his mentors, ways the
public can support the troops and how
he makes himself available to the
Since being commissioned in June 1967
after graduating from the U.S. Naval
Academy, Pace has served at every
level of military command. In
September 2005, he became the first
Marine to be appointed as chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this
position, he serves as the principal
military advisor to the president, the
defense secretary and the National
Asked how he balances the daily
pressures of his duties in Washington,
Pace said he turns to two pictures
under the glass on his desk.
One is of Marine Lance Cpl. Guido
Farinaro, who died in Vietnam in July
1968 while following the orders of 2nd
Lt. Peter Pace. The other is Pfc.
Keith Matthew Maupin, declared missing
after an April 9, 2004, convoy attack
near Baghdad, who up until last week,
was the only unaccounted-for soldier
in Iraq. Three other soldiers have
been missing since a May 12 ambush.
“I keep my balance by remembering my
responsibilities,” he said. “We
work with some incredible young men
and women. If I ever start feeling
down for any reason, all I’ve got to
do is get up from behind my desk, walk
out into the corridor, stop the first
person walking by and just talk to
him, and that boosts me incredibly.”
Asked who his mentors have been, Pace
replied that there have been many, so
he would only name a few. The first he
chose to mention were the young men
like Farinaro who served under him in
combat and died.
“It is their sacrifice for this
country that has kept me on active
duty,” he said. “When I question
how I serve or whether I should serve,
the memory of what I owe them is very
strong in what I decide to do next.”
Pace said a Marine captain named Chuck
Meadows taught him to make decisions.
He also noted that he’d worked for
former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis
Reimer when Reimer was a two-star
general in Korea.
“He invested his leadership time in
helping me understand my potential,”
Pace said. “Every chance he has had
a chance to say something nice about
me, to be supportive of me, to point
people in my direction, he has
Pace said he tries to give back in
return the help and guidance he’s
been given by Meadows, Reimer and
others to the young people coming up
in the military today.
When a woman asked how people could
best support the troops, Pace replied,
“You just did.”
“Whenever I travel to see the
troops,” he explained, “they ask,
‘Are the American people still with
us?’ Not, ‘What do the people
think about the war we’re in?’
But, ‘Do they still value our
service as military men and women?’
“And it’s questions like (yours)
and other comments of support that
I’ve gotten here so far today, that
allows me to tell them,
There are many ways to show support
for the troops, he added. When people
thank troops they see at the airports,
it resonates. When people send
packages, when school children send
notes and letters, that word gets out.
For specific ways to show support, he
told the audience to go to
www.AmericaSupportsYou.com, a Defense
Department Web site that lists
home-front groups that help support
the troops. In Chicago, for example,
he said, people can help the Marine
Corps Law Enforcement Foundation,
which gives the children of fallen
“Thank you for asking that
question,” Pace told the woman.
“Retention and recruiting in the
armed forces right now is solid, but
it is fragile.” He said the troops
believe in the mission they’ve got,
and “they believe the American
people appreciate their service even
if they don’t agree on the specifics
of the conflict.”
When one member of the audience asked
Pace if he wouldn’t be better off
back in Washington dealing with the
war than here talking with business
leaders, the slightly stunned audience
broke out in chatter. But the chairman
wasn’t taken aback.
“I’ve already learned a couple of
things today that, had I not come
here, I would not know,” he replied.
Prior to giving his speech, he noted
that he’d met first with a small
group of military veterans now
associated with the school and then
with a group of student leaders. In
both of those forums, he said, he had
question-and-answer periods that
helped him better understand some
“Each of us have to divide our time
in ways that we feel are
beneficial,” Pace said. “I need to
determine how best to spend my time,
to include how much of my time I
should make myself available to the
citizens of the United States to be
able to ask me their questions in
forums like this outside of
“For me, this is time well spent,
because I am learning and I’m also
making myself available to the
American people, as I believe our
senior leadership should do,” he
Peter Pace, USMC
Says ‘Surge’ Progress Will Be Evident by
Speaks on Leadership at Chicago Grad School
Transformation Requires Cultural Change
Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
To be sure, the Defense Department's
transformation initiative is about improving
military technology, mobility, lethality and
speed to meet the 21st century's asymmetrical
threats. But it is a cultural transformation
is really about cultural changes as much as
anything else," said Thomas Hone, the
Defense Department's Office of Force
Transformation assistant director for risk
management, in a June 6 interview. "It
means a change in people to maximize their
the way people think about their work will
yield better results, he added.
is a continuing process that does not have an
end point. The evolution of concepts,
processes, organizations and technology are
all part of transformation. Change in any one
of these areas necessitates change in all,
military officials said.
said that when Defense Secretary Donald H.
Rumsfeld arrived for his second tour as
Pentagon chief in 2001, he was on the vanguard
of military transformation.
had an intuition," Hone said of Rumsfeld.
"And I think the intuition was correct.
That intuition was that people could do things
very different and the results would be
transformation represents a shift in
fundamental and long-held conventions, it has
not been welcome by everyone.
his commencement speech May 31 at the Air
Force Academy, Rumsfeld reiterated that the
U.S. must continue to transform and streamline
its military forces to meet future challenges.
He then pointed out that some people will
always be resistant to change and urged the
airmen to challenge inherited assumptions and
seek out better approaches.
urge you to make that the bedrock of your
careers," Rumsfeld said during his
credits the former director of the Office of
Force Transformation, retired Navy Vice Adm.
Arthur K. Cebrowski, who died in November, for
having the broad vision for force
transformation. "One of the things that
struck him over his long and very successful
military career was the way in which war
itself was changing," Hone said.
instance, in the late 1980s and early 1990s,
Cebrowski was intrigued by the Revolution in
Military Affairs, a theory about the future of
warfare. During this time period, the ability
to get information on enemy positions became
so absolute that large amounts of ordnance
were no longer needed to destroy a target.
can displace firepower," Hone said.
"You don't need so much firepower,
because you know where the target is and you
can hit it with precision munitions. You find
a target and then you attack it. You'd do all
of this in a matter of minutes instead of in a
matter of hours or days."
said transformed concepts and technologies
have already been put to good use in Iraq.
Joint close-air support is provided to ground
troops around the clock and in all weather
conditions. "Technology and organization
makes this possible," he said.
quick toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in
2003 is another example of transformation at
work. "A relatively small military
knocking over the Army of Iraq and removing
the regime there from power," Hone said.
"That was done with just a little more
than 130,000 troops. That's not very much when
you're talking about a country of 26 million (people)."
also stressed the positive impact
transformation will have on the U.S. Army as
it moves toward brigades that are designed to
be highly mobile, self-sufficient and
will be able to pull one out and put another
in its place," Hone said. "(It's) as
though you were pulling a brick out of a wall
and putting another back in."
the U.S. military had current capabilities
during World War II, it could have ended the
war in Europe in the fall of 1944 instead of
the spring of 1945, Hone said.
you could go back to the spring of 1944 and
tell General (George S.) Patton that 'We can
offer you day-and-night, all-weather,
precision bombing. We can offer you
coordination between ground and air. We can
offer you all the logistics you need when you
need it. We'll anticipate what you'll need so
it will show up on time. We will offer you
combat replacements, so that as soldiers get
tired they get replaced by other soldiers who
understand the situation.' If you had gone to
him and said all that in April 1944, he'd have
grabbed every piece of it and the war in
Europe would have been over in October
1944," Hone said.
wish list of hypothetical offerings to Patton
is now becoming a reality, he said.
that's what we're talking about now,"
Hone said. "We're talking about getting
real intelligence on the enemy in real time.
We're talking about making sure that everybody
at every level has a shared operating picture."
to Honor Fallen During National Moment of
Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service
On May 29, Americans will pause together to
remember servicemembers from wars past and
present who have given the ultimate sacrifice
while defending the nation.
National Moment of Remembrance takes place for
one minute each year on Memorial Day, starting
at 3 p.m., local time.
time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time
when most Americans are enjoying their
freedoms on the national holiday,"
according to a news release from the White
House Commission on Remembrance. "The
moment does not replace traditional Memorial
Day events; rather, it is an act of national
unity in which all Americans, alone or with
family and friends, honor those who died for
the moment can be as simple as ringing a bell
three times or pausing for a moment of silence,
the news release said. Americans are
encouraged to ask others to remember,
including family, friends and co-workers.
by Congress in December 2000, the White House
Commission on Remembrance encourages Americans
to remember the sacrifices of its fallen
military members, as well as the families they
leave behind. According to its mission
statement, the commission "promotes acts
of remembrance throughout the year and asks
Americans to pay our debt of gratitude in
memory of our fallen by giving something back
to the nation."
idea for the program came in May 1996 when the
commission's director, Carmella LaSpada, asked
children touring the nation's capital what
Memorial Day meant to them. "That's the
day the pool opens," they said.
a sense of history to America's citizens and
ensuring younger generations remember the
sacrifices made to preserve their freedom is a
major goal, the news release said.
addition to the National Moment of Remembrance,
the commission has promoted other programs. In
June 2004, the commission sponsored a "historically
accurate" sand sculpture on Normandy
Beach, France, to commemorate the 60th
Anniversary of D-Day, according to its Web
site. Sand sculptors worked for six days,
making a 30-foot by 30-foot sculpture of
allied troops storming the beach.
commission employs cartoonists to create new,
limited-edition cartoons for a calendar each
year. It also partners with Dear Abby to send
messages of support to the nation's troops.
Commission on Remembrance
to realign overseas troops
American Forces Press Service
Stuttgart, Germany — President Bush unveiled a historic
realignment of U.S. troops overseas Monday, a move he said
would create a more agile, lethal fighting force while
easing burdens on military families.
Bush said the plan, the most comprehensive U.S. troop shift since the end of the Cold War, would make U.S. forces quicker to respond to threats in the war on terrorism. As many as 70,000 troops and 100,000 family members and civilian workers would return from bases in Europe and Asia.
"The world has changed a great deal, and our posture must change with it," Bush told the Veterans of Foreign Wars, "for the sake of our military families, for the sake of our taxpayers and so we can be more effective in projecting our strength and spreading freedom."
The global realignment includes plans to close some unspecified bases and use others in Eastern Europe as transit points to send forces quickly from the United States to trouble spots.
The president's announcement, coming amid Republican criticism of Democrat John Kerry's fitness to be commander in chief, also served a political purpose, particularly given that the VFW's 105th annual convention took place in a hotly contested state. Kerry addresses the VFW on Wednesday.
Bush has been making regular campaign appearances that emphasize his credentials as commander in chief and leader of the war on terrorism. A week ago, Bush nominated Rep. Porter Goss,
R-Fla., to head the CIA. On Aug. 2, he endorsed some of the recommendations of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.
Retired Army general Wesley Clark, a Kerry supporter who once headed NATO forces in Europe, called Bush's proposal "pure politics." He called it "a slap in the face of the Europeans" and "more unilateralism on the part of the administration."
Bush said the troop realignment would alleviate some hardships that servicemembers suffer from frequent transfers and time away from families.
Kerry and his aides have criticized the administration for what they see as
over reliance on National Guard and reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, where many are on extended tours that have created problems for families.
"Our servicemembers will have more time on the home front and more predictability more time for their kids and to spend time with their families at home," Bush said.
The plan, to be implemented over 10 years, would not affect the 172,500 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush dismissed Kerry's pledge to bring an unspecified number of troops home from Iraq in his first six months in office. Bush said it "sends the wrong signal to the enemy, who can easily wait six months and one day. Sends the wrong message to our troops, that completing the mission may not be necessary. Sends the wrong message to the Iraqi people, who wonder whether America means what it says."
The Kerry camp says Bush is mischaracterizing the pledge by leaving out Kerry's conditions.
The realignment plan would affect many of the 200,000 U.S. troops abroad. About half are in Europe, including 70,000 in Germany. The Pentagon told German officials this year that it was thinking about replacing two Army divisions there with smaller, more mobile units. Sophisticated weaponry would be sent to some bases to make up for troop reductions.
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