I recently had the privilege of speaking to the Association of the U.S. Army’s North Texas Audie Murphy Chapter on the occasion of the Army’s 241st birthday. I would like to share my remarks with you.
June 14, 2016
Thank you for inviting me to address the US Army’s 241st birthday.
These are tough days for the Army. We are now thirteen years into asymmetrical combat operations during a force drawdown. Even our armored vehicles are turned upside down from days past – the armor is now on the bottom!
I see three challenges in today’s environment:
First, social experimentation is being forced on our military with no regard for combat effectiveness.
Social issues have become more important than the warrior ethos and readiness. Future soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will pay a price when they go in harm’s way.
Second, the Armed Services are downsizing during a sustained period of combat, putting pressure on service members, their marriages and their families.
Not only are our personnel numbers in decline, but also our smaller military now relies on a smaller amount of high-tech equipment. I believe that’s a problem.
During the Cold War the Soviet Union had many more, though inferior, tanks than NATO. We had a saying that quantity has a quality all its own. Fewer numbers with greater combat capability might not overcome an inferior, yet more numerous force.
Third, our allies don’t trust us. True, the world is changing, but our allies are shifting alliances because they don’t believe that we will be there when they need us.
The Mission Remains
Regardless of these and other challenges, the mission of the Army, articulated by General Douglas MacArthur more than fifty years ago at West Point, “remains fixed, determined, inviolable” to win America’s wars. That does not and will not change.
Collin County recently added eight portraits to the courthouse hallway where the faces of our fallen warriors hang. A group of veterans continues the project with the goal of putting a face on every one of the 372 fallen warriors from our county who fought in every war since WW1.
I read aloud the ages of the most recent additions and not one was more than twenty-three years old. That is the typical age of the service member sent by politicians to fight our wars.
Today’s young men and women will someday fight some as-yet-unknown enemy on some as-yet-unknown battlefield. Young Americans in every decade go in harm’s way.
What You Can Do
What can we do today—we who still carry the flame of military service long after we leave active duty? How do we support a strong national defense, encourage a warrior ethos, and advocate for a robust Armed Services?
We can first of all vote. Vote for those who will know why and who they send before they order young Americans in harm’s way.
We can advocate for our Armed Services. Find an organization to join in support of our young warriors.
We can train and mentor young men and women who are interested in military service. Locally, you can point them to the leadership program sponsored by members of the North Texas Audie Murphy Chapter of AUSA.
And we can encourage young men and women who excel to seek appointments to the Service Academies. I sit on Senator Ted Cruz’s Service Academy Selection Committee, and we see dozens of impressive applications from the best and brightest across Texas.
Thank you for inviting me to address the Army birthday. And thank you for your continuing commitment to a strong national defense. There is more work to be done.