May 21, 2008 —
MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ Confirmation Hearing: Opening Statement
Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno
Commander, III Corps and Fort Hood
22 May 2008
Video image of Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno addressing senators May 22. Odierno has been nominated to take over command of Multi-National Force - Iraq. (Pentagon Channel)
Chairman I want to, first, personally pass along my best wishes to Senator Kennedy and his family. Chairman Levin, Senator McCain distinguished members of the Armed Services Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here this morning. Most recently as the commander of Multi-National Corps – Iraq, I had the honor of speaking with many of you during a number of Congressional visits to the Iraqi theater of operations, I want to thank you for your dedicated support to our forces serving there, your faith in their outstanding abilities, and your understanding of the many sacrifices they and their families endure for the sake of country, comrades, and loved ones. For all this, I thank the members of the committee.
As I reflect on my nomination to be appointed the next Multi-National Force- Iraq Commander, I am both humbled and honored. I understand the great cost that our nation has endured in Iraq. I also understand the importance of our mission there and theresponsibility that comes with this position. I am inspired and feel a tremendous sense of awe for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines and their families for their demonstrated resilience and accomplishments. I consider myself blessed that I have the chance to continue to serve in their ranks. And, if confirmed, I will do so with the integrity, commitment,and drive that such a special position of trust and responsibility demands. With that I lookforward to answering your questions.