Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, General Sullivan, Mr. Chabraja, distinguished guests and members and friends of the Association of the U.S. Army, it is my distinct pleasure to be with you today.
I hope that you were able to be here on Monday morning for the opening ceremonies of the 2003 AUSA Annual Meeting. It was a fabulous and remarkable event. The personnel of the Military District of Washington, and the men and women of AUSA are to be congratulated. I'd also say that the 2003 AUSA Annual Meeting is already a terrific success. The call to arms has been heard. Your theme of "The Army at War... and Transforming" says that the "Future is Now." So, on behalf of the men and women of CACI International, I am pleased to receive the John W. Dixon Award. We are grateful and humble on this occasion. I know that in honoring me, you really honor my thousands of colleagues at CACI, who work tirelessly to support the U.S. Army.
Even as I speak, men and women from CACI are forward deployed, worldwide, where the Army finds itself fighting this new century's most heinous war - the war on terrorism. And we will be successful and victorious in eliminating this fanatical horror. No one relishes asking people to serve in dangerous places. But we at CACI have long promised to stand with the Army professionals we serve, wherever they serve. And that's why I'm particularly proud to receive the John W. Dixon Award - because it honors partnership.
There could not be a more critical time for partnership and collaboration. The Army, as our meeting theme states, finds itself both at war and in the midst of transformation. Collaboration - particularly collaboration in communications and information security - is at the heart of both missions. Indeed, when Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld recently listed the top priorities for the months ahead, communications figured prominently. Right after his first priority, pursuing the war on terrorism, the Secretary's stated need was "to strengthen combined/joint warfighting capabilities."
We've all seen firsthand America's highly successful and deadly effective joint warfighting capabilities. This concept made it from the blackboard to the battlefield with a high degree of potency, and this is a real credit to the soldiers who made it work. I'm particularly proud of what CACI does to support these soldiers through our work in secure network communications and with forward deployed intelligence assets and systems.
With the success of the Army's joint warfighting capabilities, something that must be mentioned is the remarkable "transformation" the Army is also undergoing. Today's quality training and quality equipment have improved readiness to a truly unprecedented degree. And the Army - and the nation - owes a debt of gratitude to the people who made that happen. To sustain that progress, we must continue to work together on all fronts. At CACI we tackle this challenge daily, working to make sure that our troops in the battlespace remain the best trained, the best equipped and the best informed in the world. And here I want to thank, personally, all the people of CACI who have worked diligently in these areas to help make the U.S. Army the best in the world.
Even so, daily press reports remind us that no matter how great our technological advances are, warfighting remains the duty of the brave men and women in uniform. They are the people that we work so hard to support... they are the ones, in the end, who do the fighting... they are the ones, ultimately, who risk their lives, so that the rest of us can live in a free nation.
I recently spent time in Vietnam, and in Korea and Japan. These are places that have long known war. Many of you have served in these places and have known the trauma. My walking the streets of Hanoi, or visiting the DMZ at Panmunjom, or seeing the horrors of Hiroshima only made me more thankful to be an American. We are indeed blessed with our freedom, and our armed forces, worldwide, have kept it that way. It's important to remember that... "Freedom is not free."
So, I am indeed honored, today, to receive the John W. Dixon Award. But it is an even greater honor to serve those who serve our country. They are our country's newest generation of heroes. We at CACI salute the men and women of the United States Army.