New Army boss commits to preparation for ground wars

Army Secretary John M. McHugh, far left, swears in Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley as the 39th chief of staff of the Army during a ceremony on Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Milley's wife, Hollyanne, holds the
Army Secretary John M. McHugh, far left, swears in Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley as the 39th chief of staff of the Army during a ceremony on Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Milley's wife, Hollyanne, holds the | Courtesy of U.S. Army
New Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said shortly after being sworn into office this month that he intends to make sure his soldiers are ready for more ground wars.

"There are many who think wars only can be won from great distances -- from space, the air, the sea. Unfortunately, those views are very, very wrong," Milley said.

Milley spoke immediately following his oath as the new chief, assuming responsibilities from Gen. Ray Odierno who retired during the same ceremony Friday morning on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.

"War is an act of politics, where one side tries to impose its political will on the other," Milley said. "And politics is all about people. And people live on the ground. We may wish it were otherwise, but it is not. Wars are ultimately decided on the ground, where people live, and it is on the ground where the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Special Operations forces must never, ever fail."

The general warned that flagging commitment to maintaining ground forces will have a devastating cost in terms of lives and freedom.

"If we do not maintain our commitment to remain strong, in the air, on the sea, and yes, on the ground, we will pay the butcher's bill in blood, and we will forever lose the precious gift of our freedom," he said.
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