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US Military - Key Leadership Positions Change
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: US Military - Key Leadership Positions Change Reply with quote

Defense Secretary Gates Announces Recommendations to the President on Key
Leadership Positions

"Today, I am announcing my recommendations to the President for nomination to
key command and leadership positions in our nation's Armed Forces. America is
truly blessed for the service of the outstanding men who are leaving their
current posts, and for the superb officers who have stepped forward to take
their place.

"Generals Pete Schoomaker and John Abizaid are retiring after decades of
selfless and accomplished service to the nation.

"General Schoomaker was in retirement during the summer of 2003 when he
received a call from Secretary Rumsfeld asking him to become the Army's 35th
chief of staff. He would go on to direct the most effective and comprehensive
transformation of the U.S. Army in decades - taking it from a garrison and
division based service to an expeditionary force of more lethal, autonomous, and
agile brigade combat teams. He strengthened the Army's Guard and Reserve
components with new funding, equipment, and training. As Chief of Staff, General
Schoomaker led the effort to inculcate the Army's "warrior ethos" across all
branches and all components. A special operations officer, he participated in
the Desert One rescue mission in Iran and would go on to lead the U.S. Special
Operations Command before his first retirement.

"As a result of General Schoomaker's vision and leadership, the transformation
of the Army is well on its way, to the benefit of our soldiers, their families,
and the safety of our nation. Every American is in General Schoomaker's debt for
his willingness to return to active service and embrace such a daunting
assignment at a critical time in our nation's history. We all join in saying
thanks to Pete Schoomaker for his service above and beyond the call of duty.

"There is no officer at this time better suited to be Army Chief of Staff than
General George Casey. A former Vice Chief of Staff, General Casey has the unique
experience of having served at the highest levels on both the institutional and
operational side of the Army. As commander of Multi-National Forces - Iraq, he
has overseen the largest sustained ground forces operation by the U.S. military
in a generation. General Casey knows first hand the capabilities the U.S. Army
must have to succeed in the complex and unconventional campaigns of the 21st
Century. I am grateful for General Casey's extraordinary service and sacrifice -
he has been in Iraq for 30 straight months - and subject to Senate confirmation,
he'll be superb as the next chief of staff of the U.S. Army.

"I am also recommending that Lieutenant General Dave Petraeus be promoted and
succeed General Casey as commander of Multi-National Forces - Iraq. Currently
the commander of the Army's Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,
General Petraeus has long been considered one of the most dynamic and innovative
leaders in the U.S. military. As commander of the 101st Airborne Division in
Mosul - Iraq's third largest city -General Petraeus oversaw a multifaceted
program that within months established local government, restarted the local
economy, and stood up local security forces. He would later stay on in Iraq to
launch and lead the coalition's program to train and equip Iraq's army and

"General Petraeus is an expert in irregular warfare and stability operations,
and recently supervised the publication of the first Army and Marine
counterinsurgency manual in two decades. Dave Petraeus has been leading the
effort to rewrite the military's doctrine for defeating an insurgency, and,
subject to confirmation, he'll bring all the tools to enable Iraqi and coalition
forces to create a stable and secure Iraq. He is the right man to lead our
forces in Iraq at this critical juncture.

"In departing Central Command, General John Abizaid will cap what has been one
of the most storied military careers in recent memory. In his 33 years of active
service, General Abizaid led a company of Rangers in Grenada during Operation
Urgent Fury, commanded a battalion of paratroopers in Kurdistan after Operation
Desert Storm, and served as division commander of the "Big Red One"- the U.S.
Army's First Infantry Division.

"General Abizaid possesses a rare expertise and understanding of the Middle
East - the complexities of its culture, the aspirations of its people, and the
nature of the threat posed by violent extremism to the region and to the world.
As Centcom commander, he oversaw historic efforts to secure, rebuild and
establish representative governments in societies - Iraq and Afghanistan - that
had been traumatized by decades of war and dictatorship. I extend the heartfelt
thanks and appreciation of the American people to General Abizaid for his
extraordinary service and accomplishments.

"I am proposing to the President that Admiral William Fallon succeed General
John Abizaid as commander of Central Command.

"As Commander of Pacific Command, Admiral Fallon oversees military operations
and security relationships in an area encompassing 43 countries and
approximately 60 percent of the world's population. Admiral Fallon's tenure in
Asia has been characterized by an extraordinary level of innovation and
strategic vision in dealing with a range of political, economic and security
challenges. He has forged new partnerships to help combat the influence of
violent extremist networks and ideologies that threaten the moderate Muslim
nations of the Pacific. A naval flight officer who flew combat missions in
Vietnam, Admiral Fallon combines nearly four decades of military experience with
a fresh perspective to the challenges America faces in the Central Command's
area of operations.

"Fox Fallon is one of the best strategic thinkers in uniform today and his
reputation for innovation is without peer. Subject to confirmation, he is
exactly the right person for this most challenging assignment.

"I believe that it is essential to have individuals of experience, skill and
creativity in key national security positions. However, it is also critical to
have a team of individuals whose mix of experience, skills, creativity, and
strategic vision make the whole greater than the sum of the individual parts. I
have recommended these three men to the President for these positions because I
am convinced they have these talents.

"We are engaged in three wars - in Iraq, Afghanistan, and against jihadist
terrorism worldwide. As secretary of defense, and as a citizen, I firmly believe
that Generals Petraeus and Casey and Admiral Fallon, as individuals and as a
team, bring to the challenges that face us the qualities necessary to be
successful in war and to protect the American people. After detailed discussions
of these prospective appointments with the President, I have recommended these
three officers to him for nomination to the U.S. Senate."
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