100 Re-enlist at White House; Bush Pledges to Support Troops
By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 24, 2001 One hundred members from all five armed services raised their right hands May 23 and re- upped in the White House East Room.
President Bush congratulates a newly re-enlisted Navy chief petty officer in the East Room of the White House after a mass re-enlistment ceremony May 23, 2001. Photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Ash, USAF.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld both spoke before the mass re-enlistment, with Rumsfeld telling the troops their task now is to "protect our country from the unknown, uncertain, unseen and unexpected."
Before Army Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, administered the oath, Bush said he thought it was fitting for the service members to re-enlist in the White House.
"Every major military operation of the last 200 years was set in motion at the White House," Bush said. "The circumstances have varied greatly, but no president has ever had reason to doubt the ability and commitment of the American armed forces."
The president thanked the troops for their continued commitment to America and told them the nation owes them all the support necessary to fulfill that commitment.
"I have promised never to let that support waiver, never to take you for granted," Bush said. "As long as I live under this roof, our country and our military will be prepared to meet any challenge the future may bring."
Bush also took the opportunity to thank the family members who had come to witness the ceremony. "You're not taking an oath, but you're making a commitment," he told them, "and along the way, all of you have had your share of sacrifices."