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FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM THE SEVENTY-SECOND SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

Date Signed: 6/15/2007
ALMARS Number: 007/03

R 231130Z JAN 03
FM CMC WASHINGTON DC(n)
TO ML ALMAR(n)
ALMAR
BT
UNCLAS
ALMAR 07/03
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC //
SUBJ/FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM THE SEVENTY-SECOND SECRETARY OF THE NAVY//
RMKS/1.  IN LEAVING THIS WONDERFUL INSTITUTION, I AM REMINDED THAT WE
IN THE NAVAL SERVICE ARE HEIRS TO 227 YEARS OF HISTORY IN WHICH
SAILORS AND MARINES LIVE AND PERPETUATE OUR MOST CHERISHED TREASURE
- PATRIOTIC DUTY TO AMERICA.  TO ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN IN THIS GREAT
SERVICE - MILITARY AND CIVILIAN ALIKE - YOU PERSONIFY A TIRELESS
AMERICAN SPIRIT THAT FINDS HOPE ON EVERY NEW HORIZON.
2.  YOUR SERVICE TO AMERICA'S PURPOSE AND SECURITY IS AS VITAL AS
EVER.  TODAY, WE FACE AN UNPRECEDENTED ARRAY OF DIFFICULT AND
DANGEROUS CHALLENGES AROUND THE WORLD.  FOLLOWING OUR STRONG
PRESIDENT, AMERICANS EVERYWHERE ARE RISING TO THIS HISTORIC MOMENT
USING DIPLOMATIC, FINANCIAL, HUMANITARIAN, AND, WHEN NECESSARY, OUR
MILITARY MIGHT TO PROTECT AND ADVANCE HUMAN DIGNITY AND FREEDOM.
3.  EVERYDAY WHEN I WALK INTO MY OFFICE, THREE PAINTINGS CONSTANTLY
REMIND ME OF THE LIFE OF CONSEQUENCE THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN.  ON ONE
WALL IS A RENDITION OF USS CONSTITUTION - OLD IRONSIDES - ENGAGED IN
THE U.S. NAVY'S FIRST MAJOR VICTORY AT SEA IN THE WAR OF 1812.  WHEN
I LOOK UP FROM MY DESK, I SEE FLEET ADMIRAL CHESTER NIMITZ STANDING
ON THE DECK OF USS MISSOURI AS IF HE IS CAREFULLY WATCHING THE
DECISIONS MADE IN THIS OFFICE.  FINALLY, BEHIND MY DESK IS A
PAINTING THAT DEPICTS BRAVE MARINES AND THE NAVY CORPSMAN RAISING
THE AMERICAN FLAG AT IWO JIMA.
4.  COINCIDENTALLY, MY OFFICE FACES THE IWO JIMA MEMORIAL.  FELIX
DE WELDON, THE MEMORIAL'S RENOWNED SCULPTOR, BEST CAPTURED OUR
NATION'S CHALLENGES AND THE AMERICANS WHO RISE TO MEET THEM WHEN HE
SAID, "FORTUNATELY FOR THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS, WE HAVE BEEN
BLESSED THROUGH HERITAGE AND TRADITION BY A LIMITED NUMBER OF GREAT
MEN, THUS FAR ADEQUATE IN NUMBERS TO OUR NATION'S NEEDS IN TIME OF
GREAT STRESS."  HIS WORDS STILL RING TRUE TODAY FOR THOSE WHO WEAR
THE CLOTH OF THE NATION AND THE TWO STRONG LEADERS OF THIS
DEPARTMENT, THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, ADMIRAL VERN CLARK AND
THE NEW COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS, GENERAL MIKE HAGEE.  WITH
THEM IN YOUR VANGUARD, ADMIRAL CLARK AND GENERAL HAGEE ARE SHINING
CHAMPIONS WHO DEAL HOPE FOR ALL OF US.  THIS TEAM TRADITION IS THE
LASTING LEGACY OF ADMIRAL CLARK AND GENERAL JIM JONES, GENERAL
HAGEE'S PREDECESSOR.
5. FROM OLD IRONSIDES TO ENDURING FREEDOM, BRAVE AMERICANS NEVER
REST IN DEFENDING OUR IDEALS, PRINCIPLES, AND VALUES.  FOR THAT
NOBLE DUTY, I THANK YOU.  AS YOUR SPIRIT IS TIRELESS, MY GRATITUDE
IS TIMELESS.  I WILL WORRY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU FACE DANGER AND I WILL
SALUTE YOU WHEN YOU PREVAIL.  I WILL MARVEL AT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND
I WILL GAIN STRENGTH FROM YOUR EXAMPLE.  BUT AFTER ALL IS SAID AND
DONE, WHEN I TAKE MY LEAVE ON 23 JANUARY, I WILL MISS YOU.  GOD
BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES, GOD BLESS THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.
6. RELEASED BY THE HONORABLE GORDON R. ENGLAND, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.
//