Soldiers and Army civilians get busy in their daily routines,
oftentimes forgetting what it felt like when they took their oaths
of office, said Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford
It's good to
reflect on "why you raised your right hand and what drove you to
continue to serve," said Crawford, commander, U.S. Army
Communications-Electronics Command, or CECOM.
Maj. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, deputy inspector-general of the Army,
spoke at a "Why We Serve" ceremonial swearing-in ceremony of
Soldiers, Army civilians and men in the delayed-entry program, or
DEP, from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.
January 11, 2017 - Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, commander, U.S. Army
Communications-Electronics Command, performs a ceremonial swearing
in of delayed-entry program, or DEP enlistees at Aberdeen Proving
Ground, Maryland. (U.S. Army photo by David Vergun)
Although the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King did not serve in
the military, Soldiers and citizens today can heed his
admonishment to serve, said Crawford paraphrasing King:
Everyone can become great because everyone can serve in some
capacity. No college degree required; just a heart full of
Smith spoke about Army Values and
America's respect for Soldiers and their high expectations
for what they do as trusted professionals. He called on
members of the audience to illustrate examples of attributes
that make up the Army Profession: military expertise, trust,
honorable service, esprit de corps and stewardship.
Smith encouraged the youth in the DEP to trust the Soldiers
who are charged with their training and to give it their
all. He also encouraged veterans in the audience to be the
guiding light for today's youth, setting a good example and
sharing their experiences and leadership. He spoke to
Soldiers and Army civilians in the audience as well, urging
them to look out for their battle buddies and ensure they
are acting honorably at all times.
PROUD TO SERVE
CECOM's Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew D. McCoy said kids
often get their perception of the Army from Hollywood war
movies. He tells them that there are also a lot of jobs that
require technical skills. He speaks of his own experiences
working in cyber. "Kids get that. We've got a great
relationship with the local community."
"Today's event was important as we recommit ourselves to the
Bryce Blades, in the Army DEP, will go
to basic combat training Jan. 31. He said he'll be working
on Army networks. "I played a lot of computer games and used
to mess around with my router and IPs and stuff like that,"
he said, explaining what led him in that direction. He said
he's the first in his family to join the Army, so he's
pretty excited about that.
Timothy Buhrman-Hall, also
in the Army DEP, will go to basic training in July. He said
he'll be going infantry because he loves physical activity.
A lot of his friends joined the Marine Corps, but he said he
feels like service in the Army is just as good, plus there
are more benefits. Both young men are from the Aberdeen,
Michael Goldman said he's joining the
Navy and will become a submariner. He goes to boot camp in
June. His dad, David Goldman, currently a firefighter in
Baltimore and also an Army veteran, said he's proud of his
son's decision to serve in the Navy.
Crawford said veterans have set the high
standards for Soldiers to follow today. "We should not take
for granted the sacrifices they made for our nation," he
Milton Leigh, a World War II Army veteran in
the audience, said he's proud of today's youth, who are
called to serve. Leigh was in Gen. George S. Patton's army
in the drive to Berlin.
January 11, 2017 - Maj. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, deputy inspector
general of the Army (right) with World War II Army veteran Milton Leigh
(left) and Vietnam veteran, retired Army Lt. Col. Monroe Manning
(center). (U.S. Army photo by David Vergun)
His unit stopped just outside
Berlin near the end of the war. Leigh said he met some
Soviet soldiers who had taken Berlin. He recalls them as not
being too friendly, despite the U.S. alliance with them at
As a radio operator in a field artillery
unit, Leigh said he was one of the first to know the war had
ended May 8, 1945, since he had to radio the news since the
power lines in the area were down.
recognized Gold Star families in the audience who had lost
loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. "We need you
more than you need us," he said. "You are our conscience and
the reason why we persevere and overcome. We are truly
honored to have you join us."
Why We Serve, then
known as Operation Solemn Promise, began in 2011 when
Crawford was director of C4/Cyber and chief information
officer, U.S. European Command. Since then he has made it an
annual event wherever he was assigned.
By U.S. Army David Vergun
Army News Service
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