Promotion Ceremony in Honor of Sergeant First Class Heather L. Henry
Please stand by for the arrival of the official party Chaplin brad bombing will now deliver the invocation. Asa you would please join me in prayer. Sergeant Henry asked me to pray for my heart often I will write the words down but I’m gonna pray for my heart for you and for all of you today. So I would ask that you join me in a word of prayer. Let’s pray together. Heavenly father we come before you and thank you for this day. Lord we thank you for Sergeant Henry for her family that has joined her here today. Lord we thank you for the gift of leadership which has been demonstrated not only in her life but also in her husband’s dantes life that just pinned on Master Sergeant a couple of weeks ago, Lord, your word tells us that promotion comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south, but God is the judge. He put it down one and he set up up another Lord. In your perfect time You have four ordained this moment for the Henry family. Specifically Lord for heather this day. So God we ask that you would guide our words Lord and as we move forward from this place that you would continue to guide our steps. These things I ask in the name of my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ amen. Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff be so comfortable. So I haven’t introduced myself for a family heather said to make this a family affair. You must be done. Yes, about 32. Paradise Richard. Yeah. Uh huh. How are you? Yeah. How are you? Good to see you. So the folks in the background. Good to see you guys too. Folks sitting over here most I actually don’t know everybody. No sir. It might be. No, you are blessed. So welcome everybody. Um I’m gonna say a few words and then we’re going to get to the meat of the business and the media businesses to to promote a very special person from specialist first class in the United States Army to master. And I’ll I’ll start off as the vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I get to work with and around all the services. I’ll say I love them equally. Well maybe I love the air force a little more. But I love all the services equally. But there are certain things about each service, including my own. That is just confused. But I don’t understand. One of things I don’t understand is the mid tier ranks were enlisted in the ah in the army. Uh I also don’t understand all of the 300 words around the Navy rank. But we’ll leave that for another time betrayal. But when you’re a specialist in the army and a specialist first class, what the hell does that mean? Sergeant first class? That means. So, So when you go from Sergeant 1st class. Master Sergeant. Everybody understands what that is. And so as you grow up in the enlisted force and you go from private to specialists and the sergeant sergeant first class, that’s the surgeon, awesome. The entire world source understanding how important that is. Because if you look at our military across the board, it doesn’t matter what services you want to know the difference in the United States versus any other military in the world. Yes, it’s the enlisted corps of our force because the enlisted course for our force run our force. One of my most significant learning experiences came my first assignment of the pentagon, Which was 30 years ago. So we’ll just get that all the way right now. That’s a long time ago. But it was at the end of the Cold War and as the Cold War ended When the Cold War has been over for 30 years now as the Cold War ended, one of the things that we did is we brought the former soviet leadership to the United States for the first time because if you remember we were reaching out uh new elected officials in Russia, the new Russian federation, all those things, we brought the soviet military. Now the Russian military leadership out and one of the things I got to do was was them just Andrews air force base in the, and I was just, I was just a captain and a major a couple times I got to do it. And so I would, I would take them and literally we would just take them off the airplane at Andrews in through the base, show them the base bringing in the pentagon and I had him off to whoever has to do with the pentagon because I’m just a, just a flunky action officer being told what to do. There were two things that the entire, every single Russian officers thought was a scam. Number one is that we would let anybody shot in the commissary PX This, it couldn’t understand that anybody could go in and buy food and toilet paper, not gonna stuff that you didn’t have to be a member of the party. You didn’t have to be anything especially could do that. And the other thing that could not understand because that we would let enlisted members work on our airplanes. We will let enlisted members manage our force. We were listening lets members guard our gates. We would actually have enlisted members running operations. That’s what we do. And that’s what makes us the best military in the world because Dante has a master sergeant soon to be heather is a master sources. Uh, they want them, they’re about to both go to fort Bragg and fort Bragg. It’s gonna be all different. The pentagon, but I don’t know. Uh, you’re going to see a lot of soldiers and you’re gonna lead soldiers. That’s what master Sergeant in the United States Army do. So it’s pretty excited about what you’re going to go do as you as you look at where it all started. It’s pretty amazing that we find ourselves here in the hall heroes surrounded by the names of all the Medal of honor winners that have come before us around a couple more heroes to recognize the promotion of a very special young woman uh huh has started Johnsonville south Carolina. What the heck is Johnsonville South? Very few people know that because half the population is in this room To say that. I think it’s a town of 1500 people, maybe 2, 3 Stoplights Beijing. Uh, you know, that’s a small town, but that’s America when you think of and in small town America people grow up learning to love their town, their family, their community and their country. And when it comes time to decide what I’m going to go do, oftentimes a call to serve is one of those options and heather took that off. Right. And she decided to join United States Army. All right, you get that became a human resources specialists, which in the army is a catch all phrase for people that do almost anything in terms of taking care of the people of the force. That is what they do. They do it remarkably well. And she started off doing that. It has done that at Fort Brian at fort Campbell here in the pentagon. And then she also had a very interesting detour in Battle Creek Michigan. I think Battle Creek Michigan working for Kellogg’s No, that’s not true. Al Creek Michigan as an army recruiter, uh, and an army recruiters job is an unbelievably tough job. Uh, but if you’ve known heather for any period of time, I can’t imagine a better recruiter for the United States army than uh huh because if I’m a recruiting and I walk into the office and I’m wondering about whether the army is going to be good for me or not and you walk in on the first person that you see in a uniform is recruited in that area and that recruiter is heather, Henry and she sits down and starts talking to you the next thing, you know, you’re going to love the United States Army, you’re gonna fall in love with feathers, you’re gonna say that is what I want to be when I grow up, right, That, that is what I want to do. And so he said, it was one of the most challenging times in her life because the recruiter is a tough job, You have to go into high school, you have to go in the community, you have to go in a number of different places. Sometimes you’re welcome, Sometimes you’re not welcome, but I can only imagine what it was like when heather walked into a local school or when somebody walked into that recruiting office, that’s exactly what the United States Army would want. That’s what this country wants an example of exactly what we’re supposed to do? And then Michael becomes a big part of her life? And then Dante becomes a big part of her life at the same or shortly after. And you know, we’re talking the office a while ago about the ultimate romance, which is daunting heather because it starts where all great romances start in Kuwait, Okay, this is my sister. And it starts where all great romances shoot start and that’s in church. Mhm. It starts where all romances should start. And that’s because Dante places and the other side and we could see just looking at dawn to heather. We could see right away why Dante would be very interested in heather. But Laura and I were wondering what the heck is that are interested? Yeah. So maybe took a little while, but don? T finally figured out the way others heart and the way to his heart was food and the food was again the great romantic meal of all time. Vienna sausage isn’t captain crunch. Okay, it’s true. Go. So don? T you got a couple of things in common with me, Let’s say we don’t look too bright, but we’re bright enough to figure out what the right things are in life. And we figured it out. And you figured out it was heather. I figured out was Laura, man. Life gets a whole lot better. And Mike comes longer than Michael? How are you doing? You were sleeping down lower. So, did you realize you fall asleep? Yeah. Are you asleep now? Micro school kids. So you want to know a funny story the first time I was trying to get hold of never. Uh, I was given the number because it was news about her promotion and to check on how she’s doing a couple things. So I needed to call her. And so I asked to call her directly. So I’m on the phone and I called the number direct and Mike answer the phone. So mike is just talking to me like, like, great. Then finally I go, hey, uh, this is General Hayden, I’m kind of your mom’s boss because you’ll get your mom for me. Okay click. So I so I called back. Okay. And Mike answers the phone. Micah shouldn’t happen again. How are you talking? Like every long lost cousin I said, could you tell your mom that I called? Okay click. So I give up wait for a phone call the next day. Go back like answers the phone. Hey, all right, that’s fine. That I gave up. I just gave up. I’m not talking to heather this time when she goes back in the office, I will talk to her because clearly she has somebody watching the phone a spam away from her at all times. And that is like, he’s just a great young and the last story I’ll tell about heather. And this is a great story of talent, motivation and fun. And when you think about our business, there are some tough times in our business. If your daughter’s in Kuwait, you’re probably not real happy all the time about wondering what is going on in court? Is she going across the border? What has really happened every time you see something bad? And then there’s, that’s, there’s a lot of tough times that come with it on the altar. It’s not all good but holy cow. We get to wake up in the morning, put on the cloth of our nation and go to work with the best people in the world every day. People that watch each other’s back, people that care about the people that work to actually put fun into our business wherever we can. And one of the things we get to do uh as vice chairman and as the office sure the chairman gets to do too is that we get to take a trip a year with the USO and normally we go overseas around the world. And the first one we took, we hit Romanian Poland and then had to come back. I had to come back in the middle of it. The next one we’re going to go the Pacific. That was March of 2021st week. On the way out, Covid hits the pacific is shut down. We can’t go to Korea, can’t go to Japan, that’s okay. We’ll go to McCord Lewis on the way out, Washington state closes, we end up out of nowhere going Alaska because Kobe wasn’t in Alaska. And so we hit all the bases in Alaska. Then we’ll go to why where it wasn’t, it will hit all the bases in Hawaii. And that will be the trip. And then we took a stateside trip this year and you get to travel with the team and the vice chairman. When I’m in the pentagon, I’m going 100 mph, 28 different directions. Brandy has got the worst job in the world trying to maintain the calendar because it changes literally at least a dozen times every day. It’s just so you actually never seen, but we go on this trip, the whole At least three quarters of teamwork, you get to know each other. So you get to know heather and you get to know what makes you think and we come together as a team. And when you’re on a uso trip, you have comedians, athletes, actors and a bad and the band we got was this country band. They look at, uh, and the two leads of low caste, our our Preston and Chris and there there are good guys and they love this country and they were an overnight sensation in 2017 when they had their first hit. Uh, but They formed as a band in 2003. So they play for 14 years and every dive bar honky tonk, you know, wherever they could get a job, they play just to try to stay above water. They couple times they became homeless a couple of times they didn’t make it. They almost gave up and they sold the song and somebody else recorded it and everything was good. And, And now they’re a big band with 3 # one hits in there. They’re hitting the road with the USO because they love this country and that’s what they’re doing For the cool part about the band is that because they had that 14 years in every place you could, they can stand in front of group of people and they start playing their big country hits. And every once in a while we look at the crowd in there crowd at the end of the first number one song is going and you realize this is not a crowd is going to like the country music. So they have learned to play just about every kind of music that you can imagine everything for boy bands to old time rock and roll, to R and B and wrapped. And one of the songs that they decided to do in the middle of the show was Song by TLC from the late 90s, I think if I remember right called don’t go chasing waterfalls and in the middle of that is a wrap. And so you know, they, they actually don’t do wrap that well, countryman. So they’re asking around to the audience and others who knows the rap too. Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Yeah, at some point, red heather razor raise your hand just like this, she knows it and they put her up on stage and she’s panicked. Now she’s pulling the words up on the phone, oh my gosh, I’m gonna, I’m gonna. So they go through the whole thing and they hit the rap and heather awesome, awesome. Were spectacular. And so as soon as the band saw that, they said from this point on your initial every night when we do that, we’re bringing you up and uh you’re gonna be the rock star in this house as it comes up, you know, battle rescue. And she does the rap, don’t go chasing waterfalls. So if the family hasn’t heard her that rap sometime this afternoon, to see the reason I say it’s a cool story is because it’s fun. It shows that she’ll stand up and do what neither, but she cares about the people that she’s, she wants the soldiers that were visiting the airman that were visiting the the entire force to have a good time. She wants b with the team, She wants to make the team better. Every team that heather Henry has been with since before she was heather all the way up to this day. She has made better and the work she does in the joint staff is remarkable working for the the vice chairman of the chairman, you don’t get any higher than the military than that. And so there’s challenges that come with that those demands. The things that come into my office can’t be incorrect. Everything has to be ready. You have to do that. You have to have discipline to do that. You have to make sure that everything is right. You have to hold people accountable. And sometimes those people are three star generals and animals and you’re and you have to call down their office and say, hey this is not right, we’re gonna have to adjust that. Now. She’s got a team all the way for the vice chairman that will protect her if there’s an issue. But nonetheless that’s what you have to do. She does it with this positive attitude and a smile and she makes every place she’s ever been there just like she made us all better. Just like she and don? T make for better everywhere she goes a better place. So for the family for Dante for like for the dad for the whole family, aunts and uncles, cousins, everybody is here. Thank you for coming. Thank you for actually giving your daughter, give your daughter to the Joint staff. Thank you for your wife, your mom. That’s a pretty special day. So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna pin a decoration on 31st class. We’ll have member in the rain. Right? Make her Mhm Good story. Alright here we go. The Defense meritorious Service medal is presented to sergeant. First class heather L. Henry. United States Army Sergeant first class heather L. Henry. United starts States Army distinguished herself by outstanding meritorious service as the joint requirements oversight committee, secretariat, noncommissioned officer in charge. Joint capabilities, Development Division for structure, resource and Assessment directorate and also as administrative assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From July 2018 to June 2021. While serving in the J. C. D. Division, Sergeant Henry provided executive level support to 10 general and flag officers in support of the directorate’s requirements process. She also prepared and executed over 60 J rock meetings and 200 J. C. D. Boards. In this role, she screened thousands of attendees for appropriate security clearance is up to and including top secret meetings processed over 60 J. Rock memorandum, made room and video teleconference arrangements and acted as the primary action officer in the execution of the director and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff level events. As the administrative assistant to the vice chairman. She expertly reviewed and prepared more than 1200 staff actions which aided strategic decisions, advanced national security policy and bolstered the creation of the United States Space Force Sergeant Henry planned and executed 20 vice chairman missions and coordinated the United Service organizations around the world tours. As a result of her hard work and dedication. This tour touched six locations in eight days and ensured more than 30,000 service members and their families were able to enjoy the usos, time honored tradition of entertaining Americans and overseas locations. The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Henry reflect great credit upon herself. The United States Army and the office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff signed johnny heighten. Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now we’re going to break the rules slightly. We’re gonna hold our breath and take her from that. There’s a decent picture. Good. So now we’re going to promote evidently. Right. I’m sorry sir. So why don’t we help doctor? Okay. Uh huh. Going to bring the balloon. It’s okay. This is a family event. We’re just having a good time. Mm This is important, but it’s important for families here too. You ready sir? The President of the United States has reposed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of sergeant. First class heather, L. Henry in view of these qualities and her demonstrated potential for increased responsibility. She is therefore promoted from sergeant first class to master sergeant in the United States Army signed General James C. McConville. United States Army Chief of Staff. Mhm. That is a sharp uniforms. Your mother look the car. Well for you. How come when I call you on the phone to talk hold thank you. Now we’re gonna do small thing. Why are still standing then? We’ll have you take a seat. This is the most important part of officer, most solemn brooks. We’re just going to say a few words, the few words is the oath. But everybody here takes you go through. So if you’ve served, I’ll ask you to think about the words as we say them and apply them to your own life. Because the important thing about in these words, we swear an oath to an idea, an idea that was written on a piece of paper a long time ago, we’re the only nation in the world. As far as I know, we don’t swear an oath to the king or queen or a dictator or even the country. We swear an oath to the Constitution of the United States. Any ideas that are in and the first words of the constitution, I think they’re really instructive because they say right at the beginning with the people in order to form a more perfect union because they knew right from the beginning we were not first and we are not perfect to this day, we are still trying to figure out how to form that more perfect union. And we have challenges in this country to this day. But the ideals that were written down that have been changed through amendments that have been changed through violence, that have been changed through fighting to preserve the ideas of the constitution is what we swear. So a master Henry would face me raise your right now. Well, I do solemnly swear, I swear that I will support and defend for instance, the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the United States against all of it’s all enemies foreign and domestic, foreign and domestic that a bear true faith bear true faith leads us to the same and it leads you to the same and that will obey the orders that I will obey. The orders of the President of the United States, of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over and the officers appointed over in accordance with in accordance regulations and the uniform code of military justice regulations and the uniform code of military. I understand that’s not, I have a couple other things to give you And so this is labeled Sergeant 1st class okay, because it’s from when you so one of the things I like to do is give the folks that work on my personal staff a copy of the constitution time. I mean, so you always remember that, that was just yeah, ladies and gentlemen, colonel Drexler from the assistant Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Office would like to present Master Sergeant Henry with a farewell gift okay mhm you can say yes please, I would like to have. Okay, okay, totally not cool. Unfortunately when someone is promoted, they also move on to better and greater things that Henry was going to for grab. She worked for the vice chairman, she worked for the J and lucky for us, when are y in one petty officer Ellenberger left. Sorry, can we still had some time here And she came over and work for the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Recently retired the effective block over. So from the kind of general model and all your friends here on the joint staff, we want to present you with a picture from the pentagon. Ladies and gentlemen, Master Sergeant, Henry everyone. How’s everyone doing? Well, that sounds good. Okay, Okay, distinguished guests, family and friends. I would be remiss if my first order of Thanks wasn’t a guy. Now, if I cry, I’m still tough. Okay, I want you to know that. Okay. I would be remiss if my first order of thanks wasn’t a God. God has been, as we say, better than get to me. There isn’t a word in any language that can describe the magnitude of how God has kept me. Mhm. I can go on about how amazing God is, but the look is, Michael’s face, he’s telling me to hurry up during the height sir being the Vice chairman over the entire military is an extremely demanding job. But I want to thank you for taking some time out of your day as you fight the issues we are facing in our nation to officiate the ceremony. That little on me. I want to thank you for explaining displaying how important integrity is by never using your rank or position to pin the rules as my family and I had to. Fort Bragg. One thing I will miss is going on the yours uso tour with you as you serenaded us with your baritone boys thinking I’ll fly away your glory while watching the sea a break dance. I will never forget that and I pray that God blesses you and Miss Flora tremendously in your upcoming journey Chaplin. Thank you for the fervent, fervent prayer. I told you to pray for your heart but I didn’t mean for you to make me cry. I know you Miss Fort Bragg so I’ll make sure to keep you updated on all the new things the great place has to offer. But as you already know, there’s nothing new under the sun, especially at Fort Bragg. Next I would like to thank the entire protocol team who put this whole shindig together. Miss Natalie Bradshaw darling, You are nothing short of amazing. I know you had family matters to handle, but I want you to enjoy your family time knowing that your hard work is shining even when you aren’t present senior. Kay, thank you so much for being the lovely EMC on this afternoon there are two other personnel who have influenced me in the protocol office and that’s Mr. Hollywood himself, mister Ed Akaki and Mr. Alex. Signer mister Ed I know you retired many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many months ago, but your advice on leadership is still valuable to this day as my mother in law says the truth never gets old Alex. Thank you so much for stepping me back to reality when I needed it. You always advised me to be true to myself and I appreciate that To my very first home, the joint staff J eight. I just want to say thank you for showing me a whole new side of the military where the sausage is really made learning how acquisitions work has changed my life in the outlook on the army. Special recognition to MR Wilson Cunningham who always seemed to be on the same page as me. That’s our Jefferson. Thank you for replacing me but seriously I want to wish you well in your journey on becoming an army warrant officer to my favorite people at the Jsp. Mr. Luther Tate and mister Cris Castillo. I know y’all are tired of me. I’m not tech savvy at all, but thanks for thanks for never complaining to my face. Um if I call it or flags you down in the hall for help if you went back to your office to complain or complain during your Saturday Saturday morning golfing time. I totally understand to the vice squad. We were different in so many ways but I love how are differences meshed to get the job done while we have fun and look good doing so. And our vice squad jackets as we watched the sunset in Hawaii only to come back to being on lockdown for a year due to covid Colonel Summers Commander Luis Corey DJ Chris flow Grundy peeves, Marv matt Lisa François named ivy Felix brandy Kelly trilogy. Nikola will ELISA doc rob and especially my doula trail. Thank you so much for taking care of me and the majority of my making the majority of my time here on the joint staff enjoyable. I learned so much from you all and I’m proud to call each and every one of you, my brothers and sisters. Lieutenant General Waddell being your illicit e. A. Has been a blessing from all the knowledge you gave me each and every day I think I have a possibility of winning jeopardy. I’ve never seen a more humble general officer in my life. Thank you Miss Donna for being as we country folks say, y’all colonel Drexler, Thanks for taking care of me whether it was personal issues or professional. You always reiterated inward indeed that I could always depend on you. Thank you for that. I could always count on you to make sure I went to the gym and right as well. When I pulled out a box of nerves, you pulled out granola bars and protein bars. The rattling of your rappers made me feel convicted Each and every time I lost ¬£12 so thank you. Okay. I am overjoyed seeing that the majority of the personnel in the audience are my family. I need some tissue. Y’all one thing about my family is that they will show up as Marvin. Gaye and Tammi Terrell saying ain’t no mountain high. Ain’t no valley low. Ain’t no river wide enough baby when you need me calling, no matter where you are, no matter how far. Mm I’ve learned love, Brazilian see forgiveness and that family is everything for my family. There are two occasions with family are most likely present in our lives. And that is where we were born And when we back, I’ve grown to learn that when you have family between those two days it makes life even more beautiful. I love you all dearly and I want to send a special shout out and love to all 78 of my first cousins. I’m serious. We have had a lot of first cousins To the flag guys sitting in seat number two. The sunshine of my life. There were most resilient child. I know Mica Michael is only four and our next move will be his third duty station. Right mike. I know you get annoyed waking up early in the morning. Wow, it’s still nighttime outside money. As you say while extremely annoyed. Mommy look at the other houses, the lights are off but they are sleeping. Why aren’t you sleeping like them while I agree with each and every word you say thanks for hanging in there with mommy and having my back through it all. You have about five more years with this. I pray that the early mornings and this unorthodox way of living isn’t in vain. I pray that you know that I love you and everything I do is for you to the handsome message sergeant sitting in seat number one. My number one I love you. I want to congratulate you are becoming on being promoted to max’s surgeon as well. You couldn’t let me All right you, huh? Yeah. There are times where I had rough days and when you ask what was wrong with me, I couldn’t really explain due to the clearance of the information and I know this frustrated you all do. But thanks for trying to do what you could with little information. Thank you for choosing to do life with me and I know and do great things together To the man that has taken care of and provided for me for over 14 years. Uncle Sam. I want to thank the army for reposing special trust in me to lead the troops of today and tomorrow at the rank of master Sergeant, I want to thank every soldier that I led that led me my peers and even the ones I’ve had conflict with. I have grown from each and every situation. I want to shout out three of those soldiers. Next chastity Isaac and lock I don’t have to say or explain how grateful and impactful you all are because you already know I want to thank every soldier, airman, Sailor Marine Guardsmen Guardian and civilian that I’ve worked with or even had a conversation with during my tour here. If you’ve ever walked the halls with me you know I speak to everybody so that’s a lot. There are too many of you to name but just know that from the bottom of my heart. I think it will miss you all with the military is never good bye. It’s always to you later. And in the words of the dog Father Snoop Dogg, last but not least. I want to thank me. I want to thank me for believing in me. I want to thank me for doing all this hard work. I want to thank me for having no days off. I want to thank me for never quitting. I want to thank me for always being a giver and trying to give more than I received. I want to thank me for trying to do more right than wrong. And I want to thank me for just being me at all times. Thank you all. God bless. I think this concludes today’s ceremony. Master Sergeant Henry and her family sincerely thank you for joining them in celebrating this special occasion. Please join us in congratulating Master Sergeant Henry in the front of the room. Right? All right, stand up here. If we can come up and give her a hug. Uh huh mm hmm and right, Sandra, which is what you know I need. I hit him officers. Yes, I think. Mhm. Yes. Thank you so much. Oh yes. Well to to you out there. Thank you so much. Yeah. Make sure to make sure to grab a gift bag on your way through.