KABUL, Afghanistan (March 2, 2016) — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented the
Defense Distinguished Service Medal to Army Gen. John F. Campbell here today,
saying that Campbell has made a “tremendous difference” to Afghanistan.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford
Jr. attended the change of command ceremony where Campbell turned over command
of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the NATO Resolute Support Mission to Army Gen.
John W. “Mick” Nicholson Jr.
Dunford said Campbell is a leader
“who has the strategic vision to move an organization forward, but who never
loses sight of individual soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians.”
Praising Campbell’s Service
Dunford noted Campbell’s years of
service in Afghanistan, saying the Army general’s heart and soul is invested in
success for the country and its people. “I don’t know that anyone is more
committed to moving our Afghan partners forward … and to make sure the Afghan
people have hope in the future, than General Campbell,” he said.
Afghanistan still faces a tough
road, Dunford said, noting it’s important for the United States and its
coalition partners to “keep our partnership strong for some years to come, not
days or weeks.”
The relationships that Campbell has
made with Afghan partners have been crucial to the progress Afghan forces have
made in the past 18 months, Dunford said.
Dunford -- who served 18 months as
the commander of the International Security Assistance Force here -- said
Campbell is a model for the Resolute Support mission.
“He has been a full partner for our
Afghan friends,” Dunford said of Campbell. “He has demonstrated the kind of
respect for our Afghan friends that they deserve.”
The chairman added, “As we turn [the
mission] over to General Mick Nicholson, I know that the command is in good
shape and perfectly prepared for the transition between two extraordinary
Campbell said there is still a lot to do, “and
it’s going to take all of us pulling together to make this work for
Afghanistan. We’ve had so many people pay the ultimate sacrifice from our
coalition, from the Afghan army, police and civilians, and we have to bear down
and make sure that this continues to be worth it.”