Acting Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy swore in Gen. James C. McConville as the 40th Army chief of staff during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.
McConville succeeds Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, who has been confirmed as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and will take office at the end of September.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey also finished his term of office and was succeeded by Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston at today's ceremony.
McConville stressed two things in his remarks at the event: winning and people. There are no participation trophies for war, he said, and the U.S. Army has to be prepared to win in any conflict it gets into. He also said that people are at the root of any success the service has had throughout its history, and that he will continue to emphasize their well-being and contributions.
Milley steps down after an eventful four-year tenure as the chief of the nation's senior service. McCarthy called the general's time in office "one of the most consequential in recent Army history."
Under Milley, he said, the service recovered from the readiness woes caused by sequestration and funding starvation. The Army shifted from a counterinsurgency and counterterrorism force to one confronting the threat of peer competitors such as China and Russia. The service also looked to the future, and Milley put in place Army Futures Command so Army leaders will have the equipment, doctrine and training they need to fight in a multidomain battlefield and win. "We need to move even faster in the future," McCarthy said.
Milley said the service's teams of soldiers and civilians are dedicated to ensuring the Army remains the preeminent ground combat force in the world. He thanked all soldiers in all components — active, Guard and Reserve — noting that the service cannot do what it does without all of them.
McCarthy, Milley and McConville all commented on the changes to the service, and all noted the changes were coming against the backdrop of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Soldiers are also providing assurance to allies in Eastern Europe, while other Army units are deploying to Korea.
Soldiers also are helping civilian agencies along the U.S. border with Mexico and continue to be ready to aid first responders in case of natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires.
"Our Army is incredible, and our Army is strong, and it is getting stronger," Milley said. "And the only way to explain it is the extraordinary work of our people."