As I near the end of my tenure, I wanted
to express my gratitude for your remarkable service these past four years.
Whether it was the historic air campaign
over Kosovo or the peacekeeping mission since the air strikes of
Desert Fox or the patrols of the no-fly zones over Iraq, the evacuations
of Americans from West Africa or Albania, or rebuilding after floods in
Central America, or fighting fires in the American West the world
is safer and our nation is more secure because of who you are and what
Because you have taken care of America, we have worked to ensure America
takes care of you:
With the largest
increase in military pay and benefits such as retirement
in nearly two decades;
Increasing the Basic Allowance for Housing and proposing to eliminate
out-of-pocket housing expenses entirely in five years;
Lowering TRICARE costs and expanding access for you and your families;
Increasing funding so you can stay ready today and prepare for tomorrow.
While challenges always remain, there is no doubt: You
remain the best-trained, best-led, best-equipped
force the world has ever known, and it has been
the highest honor of my life to stand and serve with you.
God bless each and every one of you, and
God bless America.