New Officers Will Help Bring ‘Fundamental Change’

New Officers Will Help Bring ‘Fundamental Change’

Photo by: U.S. Army Reserve/Sgt. Audrey Hayes

The military’s newest officers will play a key role in the “fundamental change” underway across DoD, according to the Pentagon’s top general.

“I am extraordinarily humbled just to be here to witness the future of our military,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said May 5 during Howard University’s ROTC joint commissioning ceremony.

Each service member will “lead a fundamental change in the armed forces,” Milley said, noting that the military’s strengths include its diversity and ability to fight “for a common cause,” but it “must get better.” 

While character and readiness are vital for success, so are teamwork and unit cohesion, he said. 

“Our nation is ready to fulfill the promise of our Constitution, to build a more perfect union and to ensure equal justice for all people, and it is your generation that can and will bring the joint force to be truly inclusive of all people,” Milley said.

This year’s address honored 21 graduates who commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army and Air Force during a livestreamed ceremony.

Looking ahead, Milley warned the graduates of an “increasingly challenging” future as the U.S. enters a “period of potential international instability” amid changing politics and the development of advanced and “extraordinarily disruptive” technology.

“All of you are choosing to serve this nation,” Milley said. “Your contribution and the defense of liberty is meaningful. Your service matters, and we simply cannot defend the nation without you.”