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Testimonies & Speeches
Remarks by LTG Michael T. Flynn at the Defense Intelligence Agency Change of Director Ceremony
July 24, 2012
NOTE: This is a manuscript and not a transcript of the actual event.
To begin, I want to say "Welcome" to everyone for attending today's great ceremony.
The men and women of DIA are an extraordinary group of intelligence professionals, and as we recognize the accomplishment of a great leader in Ron Burgess for his service to DIA and our nation over these many years, today is as much about the civilians, our military, and all the families that make up this global organization currently deployed in 139 countries around the world, with over five hundred (500+) serving our combat forces in Afghanistan.
Secretary Panetta, Director Clapper, Secretary McHugh, Chairman of our Joint Chiefs, General Dempsey and Mrs. Dempsey, General Kehler, distinguished members of Congress, other civilian and military leaders, fellow agency directors, flag officers, and all the members representing our Senior Executive Service…I also want to welcome our coalition partners and thank each of you for being steadfast in partnership together with the United States against our many shared challenges.
There's a great quote that goes, "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."
As our new defense strategy highlights: through developing new and innovative partnerships in the coming century, we can demonstrate that we have both.
Again, thanks to all of you who are here today.
I next want to express my sincerest congratulations to the Burgess family. Your husband and your dad has had a great ride in service to our nation and has played a significant role in transforming the US Intelligence Community, especially following the tragic events of 9/ll…a powerful legacy, to be sure.
I'd also like to recognize and welcome those from the Flynn family, the Andrades, and members of the Andrews, Lehane and O'Neill clans, and most especially, my mother Helen Flynn: Thanks, Mom, for all you've done for everyone over the years. You are an amazing example for all of us.
And to each member of my family, I just want to say how much Lori and I deeply appreciate all of you for taking time to be here today, it means more than you know.
And finally, to all our other friends and guests – again, Lori and I simply want to say thanks for being here.
In the bittersweet tradition of military changes of command, it is important to take time to reflect on those things that matter most to us in uniform and in command. And, as anyone who has ever served in command knows, it is always about balancing the mission while simultaneously taking care of the people.
In today's very uncertain environment, DIA stands out as the world's premier military intelligence agency; there is simply none better.
The teams of people representing this world-class outfit range from our great AFPAK Task Force, directly supporting General Allen, where many of our civilians and military remain forward deployed in Afghanistan…
…to our counter-terrorist intelligence specialists supporting our special operations forces globally deployed…
…to those in our ranks supporting our nation's rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific Basin, a space that is not only vital to the United States and our allies, but as our Defense Strategy highlights, represents an increasing need for all of us to engage in new and innovative partnerships, especially intelligence…
…and to those making possible our newly established Defense Clandestine Service, an effort that will change the way Defense Intelligence supports our warfighters, and our nation around the world.
As we transition further into the second decade of the 21st Century we should constantly remind ourselves of our Agency's history and legacy, which Ron Burgess took to the next stage of excellence, and which makes us as good as we are: it is all about the values we live by, such as TEAMWORK…
…and the principles by which we operate, such as TRUST…
…and more importantly, what makes us the best at what we do, and that is all about the PEOPLE of DIA.
DIA has always been and will remain a highly agile and adaptive workforce, and will stand unyielding in times of crisis as it supports our military forces and warfighting commanders.
DIA has always responded to rapidly changing global events; it has demonstrated an amazing level of resiliency regardless of increased demands. Yet despite the many challenges we face, the people of DIA continue to stand firm in their commitment to our nation's defense.
As we transition from one leader to another, it is more than just about changing riders; it is about using these opportunities to reflect on the direction of the organization and gain a clearer understanding for the changes that lie ahead.
For DIA, it is about shaping and redirecting our Defense Clandestine Service and partnering even more closely with our combatant commanders, our national intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and our coalition partners; it is about our entire analysis system and how it takes shape in an era where information and intelligence, as well as the nature of the threat, are difficult to discern; and, to steal a line from Director Clapper, the speed in which our environment changes is unlike anything we have seen in our past.
It is about how we support our people, how we give them the necessary tools for professional and leader development, as well as training and educating our workforce, and how we better analyze and balance risk while understanding the challenges and opportunities as well as the changing nature of the threat through smartly matching our people with our science and technology capabilities.
These are and will remain vital components of this great agency and are simply world-class.
DIA and the people within it stand above all others around the world and are recognized both for their professionalism and their steadfast readiness to routinely step up in support of our nation regardless of the adversity and challenges we face.
I believe in, and will continue to showcase, DIA as a world-class organization with world-class talent.
DIA remains a keystone within our defense department and is also a vital member of our overall national security structure.
Again, Mr. Secretary, I just want to say thanks to you for this terrific opportunity. It is an absolute honor.
Thanks to the many leaders and mentors who helped me along my journey and made it possible for me to stand here today.
And again, thanks to Ron Burgess and your entire family. Your and Marta's many incredible years and numerous sacrifices for our country leave a lasting legacy of extraordinary service. You are both truly inspirational.
Lori and I are excited about the months and years ahead. Again, our many thanks to all for attending today's ceremony.
This page was last updated January 25, 2013.