Defense Department Dedicates Myers Portrait Legacy Board
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 24, 2007 The Defense Department honored the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today, unveiling retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers’ portrait and legacy board on The Chairman’s Corridor in the Pentagon.
Friends and family of retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gather at the unveiling ceremony for Myers’ portrait and legacy board in the Pentagon on April 24. Myers is standing to the left of the portrait. Defense Dept. photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Current Chairman Marine Gen. Peter Pace said it was his great fortune to work with Myers for six years – two as Myers’ deputy in Japan, and four as the vice chairman.
“You get to know a man pretty well in that time,” he said. “He truly, honestly cares for those in his charge.”
Pace said Myers’ service as chairman was particularly noteworthy. “I admired the way he served as chairman,” he said. “Afghanistan, Iraq, tsunami relief in the Pacific, etc., etc. I don’t know if there has been a more turbulent time than the time Dick Myers spent as chairman. And I don’t know if we could have been served any better than with the talents that he brought to the leadership and to the military advice he has given.”
The retired chairman’s wife, Mary Jo Myers, and the entire Myers family attended the ceremony. Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his wife, Joyce, also attended.
In his remarks, Myers thanked those in attendance, and called for a special round of applause for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff who served as commander of Multinational Force Iraq for 33 months. “There’s not a finer soldier in the United States Army or a finer officer in the military than George Casey,” Myers said.
Myers said the portrait and the legacy board remind him of the people who made his tenure as chairman possible. He called his service as chairman challenging, but fulfilling.
“(It was) fulfilling because you get to represent the men and women of the United States military,” he said. “Is there a better group in this country to represent than those who wear the uniform? I don’t think so. They are the last ones to ever let you down. If we screw it up, it’s going to be our fault, not their fault.”
The portrait, by Kansas City artist John B. Martin, shows Myers in his Pentagon office. Beside him is the chairman’s flag, and on the desk next to him is a model of an F-4B Phantom II – the aircraft Myers flew over North Vietnam.
In the background are depictions of significant events during Myers’ term as chairman. The artist portrayed the Pentagon in ruins after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Next to that is the general speaking with troops in Iraq.
The legacy board shows the general inspecting Chinese troops in Beijing, at a news conference with Rumsfeld, meeting with President Bush and the National Security Council at the White House, flying an aircraft and on his retirement day with his wife.