Toast to the Medal of Honor Recipients by the Senior Enlisted Advisers
Service Senior Enlisted Advisers Service Senior Enlisted Advisers , Washington, D.C. Sunday, January 20, 2013
I’m the Sergeant Major of the Army, Ray Chandler. On behalf of the United States Army, I'd like to propose a toast to our Congressional Medal of Honor recipients
Your actions shine a light on our armed forces - men and women who have sacrificed so much. They’ve given for their brothers and sisters to their left and right, and for this great nation. Some of these men and women paid the ultimate price, but none struggled alone. They gave of themselves willingly… in defense of their sacred oath, the American people, and each other. Ladies and Gentlemen, to sacrifice!"
My name is Mike Barrett, I’m the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, good afternoon. After 32 years in this cloth … I have developed a few thoughts about courage. Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue.
Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to both master it and triumph over it. To take action … when your circumstances to most were unwinnable. It is available to many, but only possessed by those of true character. Related to selflessness, loyalty and fidelity; it is not just about valor. It is the ability to relentlessly pursue goodness…
It is my distinct privilege to honor those who had the courage to serve a greater calling, the courage to fight, and to sacrifice for free people who live in a free nation, and for our brothers/sisters in arms. Ladies and gentlemen, to courage!
I’m Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens. On behalf of the Navy, I’d like to propose a toast to our venerated guests. My toast is to their commitment.
Through deed and fidelity, those who serve in defense of this nation personify steadfast allegiance to a cause much greater than themselves. It is the resolve of their solemn vow - in peace and in battle - that stands as the fortification of freedom, here at home and across treacherous stretches abroad where those who would do us harm lurk in wait.
Those who love these warriors, they too are bastions of faith - protecting the sacred truths we believe to be self-evident. They pay many of freedom’s most enduring costs in places far from combat zones. Ladies and gentlemen, to commitment!
Air Force (Integrity)
I’m Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Jim Roy. On behalf of our 690,000 Airmen, I propose a toast in honor of the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. You personify integrity.
Integrity is the essential element and foundation on which other values are built. It is the price of admission into the profession of arms. Those displaying integrity make no compromise in being honest, in small things as well as great ones. They do the right thing at all times -- regardless of the circumstances and aware of the tremendous price that might be paid. Ladies and Gentlemen, to integrity.
Coast Guard (Patriotism)
Hello, I’m Mike Leavitt, The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. On behalf of all the Coast Guard’s men and women, I would like to propose a toast to you and to all other Medal of Honor recipients.
You symbolize the love and respect for our country that is embodied in the military men and women who serve today and have served in the past. That patriotism is the corner stone of our all-volunteer force and what keeps this nation and our military strong. Ladies and Gentlemen, to patriotism.
National Guard (Citizenship)
Good Afternoon, I'm Chief Denise Jelinski-Hall, the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard Bureau. On behalf of all guard members, I would like to propose the final toast in honor of those who wear our nation's highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Ladies and gentlemen, each of our recipients represent the fundamental value of citizenship. Like today's citizen warriors, these men left their homes, communities and country to fight for freedom. Your actions not only honor our nation but the communities from which you were raised. The honorees here today, put their comrades-in-arms, their country and their units ahead of everything... including themselves. They showed extraordinary... [say again] extraordinary courage, bravery and honor. The 460,000 Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard thank you for what you did that day on the battlefield. Ladies and gentlemen, to citizenship!