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Army Chief of Staff Visits Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa

By Sgt. Matthew B. Roberson, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti, Aug. 26, 2003 – Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker visited the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa here Aug. 22 and 23 to meet with and to congratulate Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen on a job well done.

Schoomaker met over dinner with Army noncommissioned officers to discuss issues and answer questions about ongoing Army operations. An officers call followed the dinner, where the general discussed similar issues with senior task force officers.

Schoomaker held a troop call before his departure to award Bronze Star Medals to four task force soldiers for their actions during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Bronze Star is awarded for heroic or meritorious achievement or service in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

After presenting the Bronze Stars, Schoomaker addressed task force members. "I couldn't be more proud than to be standing up here in front of you as the 35th chief of staff of the United States Army," he said. "Whether you're a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or coalition partner, I'm proud to be here with you and able to serve you."

Schoomaker said this trip had taken him from Washington, D.C., to Fort Benning, Ga.; K-2 Air Base, Uzbekistan; Afghanistan; Qatar; Kuwait; Baghdad; and to all the divisions in Iraq.

"I've had the opportunity to talk to (many service members) about things that are going on right now, and it's important to me because as the Army chief of staff and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we have a lot of work to do in regards to figuring out how to sustain and win this war on terrorism," Schoomaker said. "I want to make sure I'm armed with reality as I'm making these decisions. Thanks to people like you who weren't afraid to tell me how it is, I'm now armed with some good ammunition."

(Sgt. Matthew B. Roberson is assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Public Affairs office.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageGen. Peter J. Schoomaker, U.S. Army chief of staff, talked to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa personnel during his visit to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. Schoomaker's trip included stops in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq to gain important and useful information regarding the war on terrorism. Photo by Sgt. Matthew B. Roberson, USMC  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageGen. Peter J. Schoomaker, U.S. Army chief of staff, presented four Bronze Star Medals to soldiers stationed at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, for actions during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Following the presentation, Schoomaker addressed all service members, stressing the importance of their mission and duties. Photo by Cpl. Eric Ely, USMC  
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