Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, September 30, 2023 — President Joe Biden delivered a heartfelt tribute to General Mark A. Milley, the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a moving ceremony held today at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The event marked a significant moment in the nation’s history as General Milley, who has served for nearly half a century, bids farewell to the United States Armed Forces.
Amidst a backdrop of servicemembers in crisp uniforms and dignitaries from across the nation, President Biden took to the podium to express his gratitude for General Milley’s dedicated service to the nation. The President began by acknowledging the exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment that General Milley brought to the highest-ranking military position during a period of profound global challenges.
“General Milley, you have steered our military through some of the most complex and uncertain times in our history,” President Biden remarked. “Your steadfast leadership and tireless dedication to the men and women in uniform, and to the security of our nation, have been nothing short of extraordinary.”
General Milley, a distinguished military officer with a decorated career spanning decades, served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2019. His tenure was marked by critical moments, including the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Throughout these challenges, he provided critical counsel to President Biden and played a central role in shaping military strategy and policy.
President Biden continued, “Your wisdom, your courage, and your deep understanding of the complexities of modern warfare have been invaluable to our nation. You’ve made our military stronger, more agile, and better prepared to meet the evolving threats we face.”
The farewell tribute featured military honors, including a 21-gun salute and the presentation of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal to General Milley. It also showcased the deep respect and admiration of military leaders, colleagues, and servicemembers from all branches of the Armed Forces.
General Mark A. Milley expressed his gratitude for the privilege of serving as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and emphasized the importance of unity and strength in the face of challenges. “Our military is a symbol of hope and freedom, and I have been honored to stand alongside its finest warriors,” he stated. “Together, we have faced adversity, and together, we have triumphed.”
As General Milley steps down from his position, General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, will assume the role of acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until a successor is nominated and confirmed.
The Armed Forces Farewell Tribute to General Mark A. Milley was a poignant reminder of the sacrifices and dedication of those who serve in the United States military. It highlighted the profound impact of General Milley’s leadership and his enduring commitment to the security and well-being of the nation.