Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Farewell Message to the Department of Defense from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Farewell Message to the Department of Defense from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Article excerpt

As Written by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Washington, D.C., Friday, February 13, 2015

To the men and women of the Department of Defense:

When I joined the United States Army 48 years ago, I could not have imagined one day serving as secretary of Defense. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve with you.

As I leave office, I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together over the past two years.

We have responsibly ended our combat operations in Afghanistan and begun the follow-on mission to preserve our achievements there.

We have bolstered enduring alliances and strengthened emerging partnerships, while successfully responding to crises around the world.

We have launched vital reforms that will prepare this institution for the challenges of the future.

We have fought hard--and made real progress--against the scourge of sexual assault in our ranks.

And after 13 years of war, we have worked to restore our military readiness and ease the burdens on our people and their families.

Through it all, many of you, and your families, coped with shutdowns and furloughs; weathered hiring and pay freezes; and endured long hours and longer deployments. You did so because we each took an oath to defend our nation, our fellow citizens, and our way of life. And you have lived up to your word.

But as you know well, the world is still too dangerous, and threats too numerous. I know you will remain vigilant, continuing your important work under the leadership of Ash Carter. …

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