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I want to congratulate Marine Corps General Joe Dunford and Air Force General Paul Selva on being confirmed as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Both have proven their mettle throughout their careers - from General Dunford's first years as an infantryman to his leadership both in Afghanistan and of the Marine Corps, and from General Selva's early days as a pilot to his leadership of our military's Transportation Command. I look forward to working with them closely in their new roles, and I know that President Obama and I - and our nation's security - will benefit greatly from their sage counsel and strategic perspective gained over years of operational experience.
We will pay full tribute to our current Chairman and Vice Chairman in short order, but today, on behalf of this department and its men and women in uniform, I thank General Dempsey and Admiral Winnefeld for their decades of dedicated service to our country. They provided the president and me with sound advice and steadfast leadership, keeping the nation secure and helping make sure our military remains the finest fighting force the world has ever known. For that, our nation is ever grateful.