General Peter Pace, USMC
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff


Messages from the Chairman

Marine General Peter Pace, 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made it a point during his tenure to have continuing direct contact with our service members and their families, emphasizing how important family issues are to retention.

Here we have archived several noteworthy messages from or about General Pace when he served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Chairman Takes a Personal Interest in Families

July 17, 2007 -- Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is currently in Iraq, assessing the progress made since the recent troop surge. While there, Pace is making a special effort to meet with the families of military members stationed in Europe but deployed to US Central Command in Iraq.

"It's important to remember that it is not just the men and women in uniform that are making the sacrifices," he said. "The families are the ones changing the calendars on the refrigerator doors." He recognizes that the extension of their deployments from 12 months to 15 months also has an impact on the families, and wants an opportunity to explain directly to them himself why that decision was made, and get their feedback on its impact to the families.

Pace said there are many ways to quantify morale of the force. Reenlistment is strong, "but that's not good enough for me," he said. "I want to get out and talk to the families. I want to look the spouses in the eyes and talk to them about what we're doing and why we're doing it and get their reactions."

Pace recognizes that families are incredibly important to the equation, particularly since the force today is an all-volunteer, "all-recruited force."

"You recruit individuals, but you retain families," he said. Pace's personal involvement in communicating directly with the troops and advocating family issues has been a hallmark of his tour as Chairman.

More information about General Pace's visit to Iraq.

Memorial Day Message

On Memorial Day weekend, the nation's senior military officer reminded Americans to remember and reflect on the sacrifices of service members past and present.

“On this Memorial Day, as we remember our fallen comrades in arms, let us reflect upon the countless battles with now familiar names such as Yorktown, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Hue City, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Fallujah,” Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a written Memorial Day message. “Each one reminds us that liberty has a cost, and that freedom is not free.”

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor the troops who have given their lives for freedom, Pace wrote.

“America honors those who gave their lives -- and all of their tomorrows -- so that we might live in peace,” he wrote. “We acknowledge their sacrifice and pledge our own service to their memory -- emulating their courage and dedication. Their legacy sets an enduring example for our 2.4 million active, Guard, and Reserve military members serving today.”

Pace reminded Americans that those who have died in service to the country left behind families, and that freedoms this country enjoys have come at a high price.

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff and I join the citizens of our great nation in tribute to our military men and women who have given their lives for our country,” he wrote. “We hold them and their families in our hearts and prayers today, and every day.”

Chairman's Tribute to Military Spouses

We're pleased to present General Pace's tribute to military spouses on May 11, Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

In the days when I was a Navy spouse, the Navy Commissaries had paper grocery bags imprinted with this saying:

"Navy Wives:
The Hardest Job in the US Navy"

I believe there's a lot of truth to that statement. The greatest fear is that of the unknown. So often, our military spouses cannot tell us exactly where they are, or exactly what they're doing, and that adds to our sense of fear.

Often, our imagination is worse than their reality, and causes us to worry perhaps more than we need to. It is that element of fear and worry that makes the job of a military spouse the hardest job in the US Military.

We'd like to add our thanks to those thousands of men and women throughout the world who are helping, by their support, to make it possible for their spouses to serve.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace, in recognition of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, praised military spouses for their "quiet strength and untold support."

"Through long deployments, you sustain our morale with your letters, emails, and the comforting knowledge that your thoughts and prayers are always with us," Pace said in a statement released at the Pentagon. "While we're away, you maintain a sense of stability for our families, providing a constant foundation despite daily challenges and unspoken worries.

"When we get tired, you dust us off, and put us back into the fight," Pace continued. "When we come home and receive recognition, you stand in the background and pretend you had nothing to do with that success. You provide a special source of inspiration, a daily reminder of the values and freedoms we hold so dear.

"You serve this Nation as well as anyone who has ever worn a uniform, and for that we are eternally grateful," he said. "The Joint Chiefs join me in paying tribute to our devoted military spouses. Thank you for all you do to give us strength to drive on when duty calls."

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