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NEWS | Aug. 17, 2016

Under Secretary of the Army visits JBLE Soldiers, attends Innovation Summit

By Stephanie Slater Army Center for Initial Military Training Public Affairs

Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy held a town hall with Soldiers from various units at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Aug. 16, 2016.


Murphy began the day participating in a physical training session with Soldiers from F Company, 1st Battalion, 222nd Aviation Regiment, 128th Aviation Brigade. The unit trains Advanced Individual Training Soldiers as maintainers for the Army’s helicopter fleet.


Following the PT session, he recognized students and cadre who had distinguished themselves in the unit by presenting them with his coin. He also reminded the unit that they are Soldiers for Life.


“Soldier for Life means you’re a leader of character for a lifetime of service,” said Murphy. “You are a civic asset to our nation.”


Murphy mentioned to the unit that he would be spending some time at an Army Innovation Summit later that same day at The College of William and Mary in nearby Williamsburg, Virginia, where Army leaders work with members of industry and academia to examine the Army’s innovation efforts to equip Soldiers.


“We’ll be talking about ways to make our Army better,” Murphy said. “You’re part of America’s varsity team, so if you have ideas on how to make our Army better, whether it’s now in AIT or beyond, make sure you forward your ideas to your chain of command.”


In his opening remarks at the Innovation Summit, he told participants how he started his day doing PT with AIT students and their cadre, saying we have a duty to make it better for our next generation.


“We owe these Soldiers, not just the duty to make sure they not have a fair fight, but that they are trained for the next fight that might come and where it might be, and that’s what we have to get at every single day,” Murphy said.


Murphy hosted a town hall meeting where he emphasized the importance of serving the nation, and thanked those in attendance for their service.


“Our nation of about 320 million people has asked for less than 1 percent to serve,” Murphy said. “You and your families are part of that 1 percent, and the civilians on our team. I want to thank you very much for being part of that 1 percent, we truly appreciate it.”


Murphy spoke about several subjects at the town hall to include readiness to fight the next fight, individual readiness to be part of that fight and the importance of physical readiness.


Murphy then addressed questions from Soldiers about education, transitioning from the military to civilian life, the transgender policy, and lengths of deployment and dwell times.


In his closing comments, Murphy encouraged them to follow him on social media and also connect with the public about the Army.


“We are all recruiters,” he said. “We all have an additional duty to generate the next generation of Soldiers.”


Murphy also asked them to stay on the Army team.


“We need you in the defining moments of our country’s history. You are part of America’s varsity team, and you are part of America’s best. We are grateful, and I hope I make you proud of our efforts, and we make you proud at the Pentagon.”


The commanding general for the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training and Senior Commander, Maj. Gen. Anthony C. Funkhouser, concluded the town hall by expressing his appreciation for Murphy taking the time to speak with Soldiers and not forgetting his Soldier roots.