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    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler retires after 34-year career

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III retires from Army after 34-year career

    Photo By Lisa Ferdinando | Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III speaks at his retirement ceremony, at...... read more read more



    Story by Lisa Ferdinando  

    Defense Media Activity     

    JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. -- In an Army full-honor retirement ceremony, with his wife and other family members in attendance, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III bid farewell to the force.

    Chandler, who was sworn in as the 14th sergeant major of the Army on March 1, 2011, was honored for his tireless work and commitment to the Army for 34 years.

    "The Army is a phenomenal place and it is the most amazing organization that I know of on the face of the Earth," Chandler said at the ceremony here today.

    The Army is great because of the people who serve, including those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, he said.

    Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, who hosted the ceremony, thanked Chandler for his service and leadership in the non-commissioned officer corps.

    "We're indebted to a great Soldier, a great Soldier who we honor here today," Odierno said.

    Chandler, since 1981, has served with professionalism at every level, from tank gunner to senior enlisted adviser in the Army, Odierno said.

    Service to the nation

    The Army is a "different and evolving" force since Chandler became the top enlisted adviser in 2011, Odierno said.

    "We are carrying out five manned operations on six continents; we are a more agile force that is globally responsive and regionally engaged throughout the world," he said.

    The Army has stood up a cyber branch, and six previously closed MOSs to women now allow female Soldiers, the general said.

    "In every change, in every initiative, in response to every challenge, the sergeant major of the Army has been out front leading," Odierno said.

    He has been a strong leader in changing the Army culture as the Army combats sexual harassment and sexual assault, Odierno said.

    Other areas where Chandler showed exceptional leadership was in strengthening the ranks through the Ready and Resilient Campaign, and supporting Soldiers in the Soldier for Life program, which stresses that a Soldier is always a Soldier.

    "You have made an incredible mark on our Army that will resonate for years, and decades to come," Odierno said.

    Chandler focused on professional and personal standards and living the Army ethic, Odierno said.

    "Sgt. Maj. Chandler has led our NCO corps, the most respected noncommissioned officer corps in the world, and he's done it with great distinction," the general said.

    Distinguished career

    Chandler said, "It's been an honor to serve you and the American people, and I wish each and every one of you well."

    Chandler, who has been in all tank crewman positions and has had multiple tours as a troop, squadron and regimental master gunner, said he has served in the greatest Army with the greatest members in the world.

    "This is a great country that we have the privilege to serve with, and it's a great Army that defends it each and every day," he said. "It will continue to be great because of the people who choose to serve and lead our Army each and every day."

    "It's been a privilege to be able to be with each of you," Chandler said.

    He said there are men and women on point standing watch each night, to ensure that "when we go to bed, that we'll sleep well knowing that our nation is secure against all enemies, foreign and domestic and that the Constitution is secure and the American way of life continues."

    Support of family

    Odierno paid tribute to Chandler's wife, Jeanne Chandler, thanking her for her steadfast support and being a "tireless advocate for the Army families, no matter what the subject might be."

    Chandler, who described his wife as the "most intelligent and beautiful woman I've ever known in my life," said she gave up everything -- her home, her career and moved away from her family -- and put her whole life into being an Army spouse, and supporter of Soldiers and their families.

    "I love you for that; and I love you for putting up with me," Chandler said, who noted that he and Jeanne were married in 2002. "Jeanne's only known the Army at war."

    "At the end of the day, today, we'll leave the Army with each other and our family intact and proud of our service to the nation but also grateful for the opportunity," he said.

    The ceremony featured the Army Color Guard, the Army Band "Pershing's Own," Soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.

    Distinguished guests included Secretary of the Army John McHugh; general officers; Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; former chief of staff of the Army and former secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki; and Medal of Honor recipient Kyle White.



    Date Taken: 01.30.2015
    Date Posted: 01.31.2015 19:17
    Story ID: 153240
    Location: ARLINGTON, VA, US 

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