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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 05:07 AM
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Gen. Casey addresses state of the Army

Gen. George Casey, chief of staff of the Army, talks with servicemembers during the Yama Sakura training event Saturday at Camp Sendai, Japan.

Gen. Casey addresses state of the Army
By Bryce S. Dubee, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CAMP SENDAI, Japan Stressing the need for stability and continued support from Congress and the American people, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Saturday that the Army is not broken or hollow and is working to restore balance.

During a visit to Camp Sendai in Japan, Caseys birthplace and the site of this years Yama Sakura exercise, the general sat down with Stars and Stripes to address the current state of the Army, stop loss, soldier mental health and the threat of terrorist-controlled weapons of mass destruction.

After more than six years of war, what sort of effects have you noticed on the soldiers, their families and the Army as a whole?

Ive been doing this job now for eight months, and in the first four or five months my wife and I traveled all over. One of the things I did see was the cumulative effect of almost seven years of war on our soldiers, on our leaders, on our families and really on our institutions and our systems. A good example (of this) is Walter Reed, when you had five years worth of casualties coming into an arcane disability evaluation system, and it just backed up until it broke. And unfortunately, theres a lot of those kinds of things happening all over the Army.

Were on a track to come down from the 20 brigades that are in Iraq by July, and thats important because the surge sucked all the flexibility out of our system. Well come off the 15-months policy for boots on the ground. Im not sure exactly when, but well be able to come off that and then well gradually start building up more time at home for our soldiers. And I think that will help substantially reduce the overall stress of the repeated operations.

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