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"About the Institution You Will Someday Lead"

How The U.s. Army Must Prepare Itself For A "complex And Uncertain Future"

Thank you General, for that introduction. It's a pleasure to be back here at West Point, although as I often say, it's always a pleasure to be away from Washington, D.C.

One of the greatest privileges of serving as Secretary of Defense over the last 4-plus years is the opportunity to visit the service academies-to speak to and hear from the future leadership of the finest military in the world. This will be the fourth-and final-time that I address the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy as Secretary of Defense. The last time I spoke to the entire corps of cadets in 2008, it was an evening lecture on strategy and leadership that ran to nearly 50 minutes. Rumor has it that there were a few stalwart cadets still awake at the end. Knowing most of you have been up since dawn, and knowing that the Firsties get to start their 100th Day weekend celebrations when I'm done here, I've decided to make this presentation much shorter.

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