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Gen. Dempsey's Remarks at the Warrior Games

By General Martin E. Dempsey
June 28, 2015 — Thanks very much. Deanie and I are honored to be here for the fourth consecutive year at this event and at which I will soon present the Chairman's Cup representing the team that came and gained the victory. But as it’s been said many times, you've all inspired us and gained your own personal victories and for that, we're deeply appreciative.

I must say I'm a little just amazed that someone would say that the rules of baseball are impenetrable, who counts cricket as one of your national sports. [Laughs, cheers].

But I do want to welcome the team from the U.K. especially. I welcome you all, but it is great to have you here and we look forward to continuing this athletic competition in the future. And speaking of that, the Joint Chiefs and I, as you know, these games for years were held at the Air Force Academy and the Air Force and the Academy did a wonderful job sponsoring them.

And then the Joint Chiefs and I began thinking about the fact that we should make the rest of the country accessible to you and each service should be able to sponsor these games and demonstrate their commitment, their personal touch and benefit from having you around them. And my compliments to the United States Marine Corps as has been said, because you have done an absolutely marvelous job of hosting these games and set the bar pretty high for whomever will take on the opportunity to host them next year. So again, a round of applause for the United States Marine Corps.

43 years ago today, Richard Nixon, President Richard Nixon declared from that point forward, the Armed Forces of the United States would be peopled by volunteers. Many of you are not old enough to remember that day, but I am. And I remember wondering what exactly would it mean to have a force of all volunteers. And I’ll tell you what it has meant.

It means that every one of you are personally committed to your own development, to the development of your teams, to the development of your services, and to the protection of the country. Every one of you takes on that as a personal responsibility. There’s no one in this audience, no one in uniform who’s been impressed into service. We’re all volunteers, and that has been inspirational in so many ways.

While we’re sitting here today, your fellow service men and women are serving in Iraq, they’re in Afghanistan, they’re on the seas and under the seas, they’re in the air. And they’re doing what you know they need to do so that we’re back here living our live as we want to do and we all know the service and sacrifice of those who serve and their families.

But on this particular day, besides being inspired by the entire Joint Force, I just want to add my own voice and tell you how inspiring it is to see you. And those pictures behind me a moment ago are truly worth a thousand words. And in that spirit and in the spirit of getting down to what you really came here for tonight which is to find out who is the ultimate warrior and which team will walk away with the Chairman’s trophy, I now step back from the podium and I’m prepared to make the presentations. God bless you all.