Retirement Review Ceremony in honor of Gen. Joseph M. Martin, VCSA

Retirement Review Ceremony in honor of General Joseph M. Martin, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.


The review Old guard you right face. Right. Oh yeah. Hey, watch. Mhm. There we go, morgue. Right. Yeah, mm. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah. No. Okay, Ladies and gentlemen, General McConville. Well, good afternoon, Good afternoon. And those who thought there’d be no speeches not so fast. But we had we had the great soldiers on the on the parade field today and and the Vice and I talked about it and it’s about people first and we thought it was good to go ahead and complete the ceremony uh and give everyone an opportunity to speak. So thank you for all being here. It’s very, very special for the martins. Thank you for the hand up there. I’ll get your a few minutes. We’ll get that back to you. Thank you very much. What I’d like to do is begin by welcome the army team. Secretary’s here. Secretary, thank you for being here. Son, Major of the Army is here. The chiefs chief is here uh distinguished guests over to our Congressman and Mrs. Mark Greene, thank you for being here. That’s the class of 1986. And I think that his courage never quits anyone here from 86. Yeah, I got a text from David Urban before the ceremony and He said today was your our day. So I guess you haven’t fond fond memories of 40 years ago. All comes together today. And general Mrs. Sasaki, sir, thank you for for all your service and your support for being here today. Former secretary McCarthy, thank you sir for being here. I think it’s our dr Whitley’s up here. Um Mrs. Millie, thank you for being here, Holly Ann Jim McPherson, thank you. And I think I think many devices were here, but you know, I haven’t been a former advice, they never get recognized, they do all the work. So I’m not gonna individually point you out, but thank you for running your respective services and for all you do to allow the chiefs to be the chief. So thank you for being here and many, many other folks are here. I’m not gonna go through it because I live in myself to eight minutes. And if I went through all distinguished guests, we’d never get through this thing. So, you know, every day is a great day in the United States Army and today is especially great because we get to celebrate In honor Joe and Liane Martin for 36 years of dedicated service to the nation, you know, and Joe and LeAnn met in Germany and joe was a second lieutenant and scout platoon leader in the first armored division. And Leanne had come to Germany to visit her oldest sister, who just happened to be the wife of Joe’s battalion commander. And after two weeks together in Germany, joe and Leanne knew there was something special about this relationship. So they built a long distance relationship through long letters And long distance phone calls. And let’s put this in perspective because this was back in the 80’s In the 1980s, you actually had to write a letter and you actually had to pay for long distance calls and in fact you actually had to dial the phone. So this was pretty, you know, pretty big commitment back in those days. And they saw each other for one more time when joe was home for a few weeks of leave, they got engaged and they were married that December in the army. We call that bold and decisive leadership, no paralysis by analysis, joe knew what he was doing and he’s a bold and decisive leader and that’s what makes him a great combat leader and many said that, hey, with this last and not last, you know, you’re taking risks, but joe has great instincts and as we can see today, the rest was history and great history at that. And so Leanne, Leanne, thank you for your commitment to this army. You raised a great family, you’ve supported him, you know, through multiple moves, he would not be here today if it wasn’t for you. And I know you’re raised to, I’m gonna introduce your kids a little later. But you’ve raised two wonderful Children, you worked multiple jobs over multiple moves and we know with all the families that you’ve served over many, many years, we are much better army for you. So let’s all give Leanna hand. Okay. And as I said, joe and lee, Anne’s two Children are here with us today. They’re not Children anymore. They’re actually grown up. And Kylie is an accomplished artist and traveled here with her husband Kevin from their home in Texas. And so thank you for being here. And Joey did I mess that up? I hope I don’t mess that up, Joey Like. His father is an accomplished swimmer. He was all American with several trips to the N. C. A. Championships and Joey enlisted. The range is five years ago after college and already has five combat tours and I mentioned it to him. His dad has five combat tours. So I think he stayed at least for one more to beat dad. But but he serves in the range of regiment as a gunner team chief or as he calls it the best job in the regiment. So Joey, thank you for your service and and Joey, Joey and Joey aren’t the only family members with military service. Nephew Dan and Cousin Jason are both lieutenant commanders in the Navy and Navy Reserve and they join us today. Are you out there somewhere? Okay? Thank you brother Stephen, Nephew Brandon are both retired Navy and joe’s brother in law. Clay is a retired brigadier general and former Commander of the First Brigade of the second armored Division. And although back in the day, he wasn’t brother in law Clay. He was Lieutenant Colonel Melton, The very battalion commander whose sister in law was in town to visit. So, what a great story. Cousin Rick and Mary martin are here with their Children. Sarah Ryan and Jason and who already mentioned for his naval naval service. Finally I’d like to welcome Bill and jean shine and anyone has ever served at Fort Hood and the first cab division including myself knows the tremendous impact that you had on soldiers and families there. And Joe and lee Ann’s parents are no longer with us, but Bill and jean have been like parents and grandparents for the martin family. So thank you for joining us saying let’s give them a hand. Joe comes from a salt of the earth family. Joe’s family was deeply rooted in his hometown in Dearborn Michigan. His grandfather, Leonard worked at the Ford Motor Company for 43 years and his father Leonard jr worked at the Ford Company for 42 years and joe even went to Henry Ford elementary school. Joe was an accomplished swimmer through his school years and several colleges took notice, including the United States Military Academy at West Point and joe’s father was a former naval pilot. But fortunately for the army, he convinced joe to fill out the application for West Point. Whenever I do these ceremonies, I always ask people what inspired them to serve and what inspired them to keep serving and almost every single time that person will say that you know there was someone you know a primal que that got them. That was what happened to joe, but most said they’d only do their first term. That was my plan to 41 years ago, but not for Joe joe thrived at West Point. By the time he graduated, he knew the army would be a career for him. But as he told me, he thought that was retiring as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years, not so fast, you know, 36 years later, he’s proof that the army is a pathway to unlimited possibilities. That no one can imagine when they start their journey in uniform for over three decades after cadet martin commissioned into the armored branch, joe concludes an accomplished career of honorable service and outstanding leadership. As I said, he has five combat tours beginning with Desert Storm. He has at every level most recently at the command as the commander of the Big Red one, the first division in combat that he took over at short notice and did an absolutely fabulous job in Iraq. And before that he commanded National Training Center at Fort Irwin that we all know is the world’s gold standard of realistic, realistic combat training. And I got no joe Well when, when I was the vice and he was the director of the army staff. What’s amazing about joe was this was the first time he ever served in the pentagon and he came in without any experience in the pentagon and took over one of the toughest jobs in the army, the Director of the Army staff. This is my 12th year in the building and I still haven’t figured it out. But that’s why we made him the vice. And now I’ve been the vice. I’ve been the chief for three years after having joe’s job. And I will tell you that being the vice Chief of staff of the army is one of the most toughest thankless jobs in the army. You’re constantly working behind the scenes to run the army and make things happen. And as device, when the chief is unavailable are decides he doesn’t want to be available. That’s when, that’s when the vice gets to do his job also. But I can tell you there’s no one better. And joe martin is a vice Chief of Staff of the army. He’s done an absolutely fabulous job And I can say that as as as as his predecessor, the I think the army traded up when we got him. He enjoys the respect of all the other general officers from every service. And that’s why many are here today. But especially in the army, especially as a senior civilians that have all come out to see him and especially across the country, there is no finer officer in the United States Army than joe martin. He is a quiet professional who knows how to get stuff done and he does it without fanfare. And for the past four years he’s been a trusted colleague and friend. He and LeAnn will be truly missed. And so to the entire martin family. Thank you for everything you’ve done in service to our army and this great nation for years. Good luck and Godspeed on your next rendezvous with destiny in our army. It’s about people first winning matters. And that’s what keeps us army strong. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, General martin. Okay. I am well aware that I’m the last thing standing between you all and celebrating this great nation’s birthday this weekend. And so I’d ask that you give me some latitude because I want to give some thanks to people who are present. I want to talk about three things I’m proud of and why I like the city of Petoskey Michigan. You’ll understand why later. First. Was this an amazing ceremony? Well, it just didn’t happen with pixie dust being flashed and boom. It was all there lots of hard work from the army protocol, the US Army military district of Washington, the soldiers, the old guard, the United States Army Band Pershing’s own and team Vice especially Sandra bello who’s the best, the best friend forever for everybody that’s coming to my, to our house for a little gathering tonight. Let’s give them all a round of applause I want to first thank General McConville for his leadership. The army has been through hell for the past couple of years and we don’t look like it because we’re, we’re led by a leader that’s always glass half full. He’s always positive. He knows how to make a team do what they need to do and he’s always got the vision to allow us to see to where we need to go. And I couldn’t have asked for a better boss. Nobody I’d rather serve with and serve for and learn from than Jim McConville. And Maria McConville is our first lady of the United States Army sir. Thank you so much for this opportunity. General Mrs. Sue Shecky, your former vice chief. But I want to recognize you today specifically because you’re always there for us. I see you everywhere and you to to Leeanne and I are an example of grace and selfless service while in uniform and beyond uniform. So thank you for what you do for the army. Each and every day is a family for life. I’m gonna gather some people together. Please don’t take it personally when I do it. But I want to talk about my secretary’s because I’ve had three since I was the Vice Chief Secretary, Christine warm with our current Secretary of the Army, former Secretary Ryan McCarthy and former Secretary john Whitley, thank you for all that you do to lead our army ma’am and what you did to lead our army gentlemen through an incredible time in its history. We could not have done it without you. Thank you very much holly Ann I can’t forget you because we’ve been great friends since we served at the great place together and I know that if General Milley could be here, the chairman, he would. But I want to thank you for being our friend for being our neighbor, for accepting us into this community as we arrived when it’s a direct became the director of the army staff. But I want to mention something. I wouldn’t be standing here right now if it wasn’t for your husband and that gentleman right there. And so please pass that message on to him. I love the both of you guys have led this army incredibly well. God bless. Mhm. To my wingman, the undersecretary of the army. We’ve had three since I’ve been around Jim McPherson, Chris Lohmann and Gabe couldn’t be here because he’s done in Mexico. He’s in the right place. He’s building on his resilience. But Gabe Camarillo. But what a great team I have. I have been blessed with Wingman who not only helped me work my way through problems that I couldn’t understand because I didn’t understand that an aspect or perspective. But I’ll tell you, they all have a wicked sense of humor. We had fun doing what we did. And so gentlemen, thank you to my fellow Vice Chief. Thanks for coming out. I really appreciate it. Um This group of people. We do some thankless things on the behalf of the Department of Defense and we gather in various bodies to talk about funding re sourcing requirements. Uh It’s all it’s always been really hard to walk into the room with this group because they’re also intellectually capable. Uh just articulate brilliant people And it’s been a pleasure serving with you and you all have made me a better army officer with what I’ve learned from your services, your example. But thank you all for what you do to my S. M. A. Sergeant major of the army, Tony Greenstone. He’s one of the members of our squad in the ring of this building and I couldn’t think of a better partner. He’s not only brilliant, he’s not only a great leader, he’s a physical physical specimen but he’s also got courage. He’ll look you dead in the eye and tell you this is why we’re not gonna do this because this is wrong. It takes a special person to do that. And to his left is my chief warrant officer of the army B. C. Thanks for being here. God bless you both. Alright, there’s a group in here. You don’t have to raise your hand if you don’t want to. But they’re called the misfits. Okay And if you’re a misfit, you know what that is. But uh so some people ask me how the heck did you make it through four years with the grind that’s associated with being the director of the army staff and the Vice Chief of Staff of the army and I can tell you it’s because I’ve got a very supportive wife and family. I’ve got a great boss. We’ve got a great team in HQ T. A. But where I build resilience on the weekend is 4-5 hours in Army Navy Country Club where I play golf with a group of retirees that are salt of the earth misfits. Thank you for helping me be where I’m at right now. God bless you. Yeah. And of course The class of 86 and Congressman, I’m not disrespecting you. I just thought that you and Dan Hokanson would want to be included with this group. But thank you so much for what you do. I am so proud of the accomplishments that you all have achieved and it’s an honor for Leanne and I for you to be here today honoring our service. And I live, I always tell you I live vicariously through you and you as quickly as I say that say no, you live vicariously through me. We’ll just live vicariously through each other. But thanks for coming out today. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm. And then the headquarters department staff, here’s another reason why we just like with Grace work through problem sets that are wicked, complicated multiple stakeholders and just could have horrible consequences. And yet we find our way through it. It’s because we’ve got handpicked people in the headquarters of the Department of Army staff that absolutely work like you wouldn’t believe to help us arrive at the right solution at the right time for the army and without them we would not be where we’re at right now. So for all the brothers and sisters that came out today from the headquarters department of the staff. Thanks for what you have done and will do okay. Here we go. Three things I’m most proud of. I’m a father. I have been Dearborn Michigan. My name is still on record boards and schools that I swam in there. I was a very accomplished swimmer. I was the captain of my team. I was a state champion. I went to West Point, I was the captain of water polo team. I am an admiral in the Texas navy, a Kentucky colonel combat veteran led soldiers four times in combat and nothing compares to how proud I am. Those two kids right there, Come through the receiving line and see my son and you can see his two friends there and you’ll understand why the enemies of this nation think that our soldiers are 10 ft tall because he’s pretty close. And then Kylie, she’s always been my brave little toaster. I used to call her, she’s got a business now. She tried to call it the brave toaster and that was taken. So she had, she had to call it something a little bit different. The good toaster, but she is an accomplished artist and she just does that for fun because she works full time. But she paints and I’m looking at some people in the audience here that have benefited from some of her works but ken, kylie, I love you Joey, I am so proud of you, Thanks for being great kids, thanks for being financially independent and doing what you do because you inspire me every single day. 2nd thing I’m proud of, I’m a husband and Jim after what you said, I don’t think I can, I don’t think I can top that in terms of how we met and everything else. But it is a great American story and if you knew me before I met her, I was not, I was, I was a devout bachelor, but it’s that saying that you know, once you meet the right person, you know that’s it and the two catholic priests that counseled us across the ocean, both said, you can’t do this, this will never work. And when the priest that married us that demanded to talk to us before they, he married us, sat down with us when he was done, he said, you two know each other better than most of the couples that I’ve counseled. That’s the power of those letters that the chief talked about in the phone calls and just true love, Liane has worked jobs from time to time. But I think she has mastered two things that are two of the most noble professions in this country and one of them is raising Children. She’s a Master of It, products of her work are sitting right there and there, secondly, she is an exquisitely capable volunteer. I’ve taken over to organizations that were in a high state of distress. When I arrived there, I’ll just leave it at that. And without hesitation she jumped in and she didn’t try to take control. It’s not about control. It’s about she just cares about people and it it’s just just she exudes that and people know it and they rally around her regardless of circumstances. And I guarantee on the net they may not be in the room, but they’re watching right now and there’s a legion of ladies that follow her because she cares about people. Honey, you’ve taught me so much in my life. I would not be where I am and I cannot go where I need to without you. Like I said, she’s taught me many things. I now know it better than to color my smoking hot trophy wife in a public venue. It’s just it’s unprofessional and not becoming of the Vice Chief of Staff, let alone the brigadier general when she told me the first time. Don’t ever say that again. Okay, so I won’t, Honey, thank you for being my wife, my love and my best friend. 3rd thing I’m proud of being a soldier again. Chief masterful job. I can’t tell the story any better. Except for one thing the true reason I went to West Point is I had several schools that were, we’re competing for my talent. But West Point was going to pay me once a month and that attracted me. That’s a true story. It’s a true story. But I gotta tell you when I went there, I don’t know what it was. Maybe because I swam and there’s a certain amount of regimented lifestyle associated with that. We’re having to work out twice a day, 300 days a year, I don’t know. But when I got to West Point, I just loved the camaraderie, The way that groups of people work together to get to work their work their way through problems, the challenge of academics and being an an n. c. two a. Athlete into sports. I just, I loved it. And I said when I graduated the chiefs, right. I said I was gonna serve for 20 years, but that I had no idea what it would entail. I didn’t know what rank it would be. I didn’t know what I would be doing. And the chief hit it, hit it on the head. Anything is possible. The United States Army because I can tell you The 36 years ago, if you put a lie detector on everybody including me and said, hey, you’re gonna grow up to be a four star general, be the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. I think they all would have said no way. But living proof it’s possible above my parents fireplace, there was a plaque that I presented to them when I graduated from West Point and we’ve got it now because as the chief said they’ve passed on but it was a saber and below the saber was a plaque that said this. It was as simple as this. I made it but not alone. So I want to talk about some people who were instrumental and that happening. And of course it’s starting out in that first unit with a company commander like brooks Lyles who was my first company commander. And you heard about Clay Melton. He can’t be here. He’s recovering right now. He wasn’t well and we’re thinking and praying for him. But that unit chief says this all the time. People, battalion commanders are so important because if they set the right climate, there are people that will want to serve for their lives and I can tell you my first unit I went to it was a perfect climate and equally important. I met my wife but brooks Clay, if you’re listening, thanks for your leadership, I wouldn’t be here without you. You set the tone unit foundation and family. Then I went to my second unit and that was one that I called the unit that built structure development and advocacy for me. That was the unit. I went to desert storm. That was the unit, we’re my battalion bob west, my battalion commander bob west home and his wife Prudie where the battalion commander, my brigade commander was a guy named Tom Metz. His wife’s name is pam And I believe they’re both in the audience. Yes they are. But without getting into too much detail, there were a little bit of difficult times in that brigade until those people arrived and when they did it changed everything. But there was a time in that brigade where I was like, I don’t know, maybe I’d done, maybe the army isn’t for me. They both believed in me especially Tom Metz and he has been an advocate, a member and a friend ever since. And I can tell you I’m standing here because of people like Tom Metz. So sir, thank you couple of C. O. S that I want to mention my very 1st 1st sergeant. This guy named Lloyd Braun. He was an amazing man. Why was an amazing man Because this guy solved every problem in the organization, regardless of circumstance. And today we’ve got all sorts of outsourcing capabilities for things as we solve soldiers problems. But this guy three packs a day, sat in his office and at the end of the day just people filed in and they walked out, they had a plan and they were they were taken care of and everything was fine. But I watched him and he developed Lieutenants. He was very good at it. Lieutenant. No, you don’t do that this way. And I think we need to have as many Lloyd Brown’s in the United States Army as we can do. We Powell! You saw him. If you watched the picture show standing in front of the tank, another chain smoker. Great first start. And he was my first started in Desert Storm. He was followed by carl Garrett battalion. I had Ernest Barnett Junior Brigade. I had Don Battle at the National Training Center. I had a guy named Edison re buck, you might have mentioned known him if you worked in the headquarters department of the Army because he worked for the Sergeant Major of the Army for about a year and a half. And in the first idea at craig corn Ellison, excuse me, Kurt corn, Ellison and craig Bishop. And of course our squad in the ring dan Dailey and Tony Greenstone. All of these N C O S. I mentioned them because they have helped me become who I am even to this day, certain major can vouch that I am able to continue to be developed even as the Vice Chief of Staff. But they’ve made an impression and I’ve been blessed surrounded by great noncommissioned officers and again, I wouldn’t be where I’m at or who I am without them. So thank you all. All in all. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful four decades since we began the adventure together in our day at West Point and service to this nation. I would do it all over again and I don’t regret a single decision that I made. This is a very noble profession And it’s rewarding. Like you wouldn’t believe the chief talks about being the vice chief and says that it’s a, I’ll tell you it’s a very rewarding job. Why? Because I walk in the building with 10 priorities. I, I execute three of them and seven others. I had no idea I was going to do, but every time I’m helping somebody that needed help and when you can do that, it just feels so good. When you see someone get help when they thought they were helpless. And so it’s been an honor. I thought when I graduate graduated, you know, I be commissioned in the army and the army would go through history. I can tell you that what’s neat about what’s happened over the past 36 years of commission service is I’ve been in the army where we made history and I’ll never forget it. So why do I like Petoskey Michigan. If you’ve never been there and you wanna come, let us know, we’ll let you come and you’ll see. That is gorgeous. We own a A condominium that’s about 220 ft above. Little Travis paid looking to lake Michigan. Lake Michigan because of these things called Zebra Mussels has turned into something that looks like the Caribbean. Now it’s gorgeous. We watched the sunset every day. You go downtown. There’s, there’s restaurants that are absolutely amazing. They’re all mom and pop restaurants and they’ve been around for decades, if not longer and why are they still around? Because the food is incredible. The people are really nice. People wave at each other as you drive down the road. It’s amazing. The weather is awesome in the summer. I don’t recommend the winter, but that’s not why I like. I like Petoskey Michigan. We’ve owned the place for five years and every time we’ve had leave, we’ve gone to Patoski and that’s our happy place. That’s my happy place. And here’s why. Because when I walk out of my house and I walk down the street, they call me joe. I like that. I’m not sir. I’m not Vice. I’m not general. I’m just joe. Mark Milley. I heard him say this many times from dust, You King and dust. You shall return. And I’m aware of that. And I’m embracing that. So, I got about 35 more days in the job. If you didn’t hear a little extension. But when that’s over, don’t call me sir. Don’t call me general. Don’t call me Vice. Call me joe. Because that’s who I am. And I look forward to living the rest of my life. You thank you all for coming out today. God bless you. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Mhm. Ladies and gentlemen, the army song. Mhm. Right. All right. Mhm. Mhm. What both the United States Army is honored to have presented today’s special ceremony guests are welcome to join general martin and his family for a receiving line on the floor. Thank you for attending and enjoy the rest of your day.

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