"I enthusiastically support President Obama's choices to fill these key military leadership positions.
"General Dempsey, Admiral Winnefeld, and General Odierno have all excelled in key command and staff roles within their services and in the joint arena. They possess the right mix of intellectual heft, moral courage, and strategic vision required to provide sound and candid advice to the President and his national security team. Above all, they are proven leaders of men and women in combat operations over the past decade, and are uniquely qualified to guide and shape our military institutions through the challenging times ahead.
"On a personal note, I have enjoyed working with Admiral Mullen and General Cartwright and benefited greatly from their wise counsel. All Americans owe these two fine officers and their families a debt of gratitude, and I look forward to paying fuller tribute to their accomplishments at the appropriate time."