Adm. Mike Mullen Speaks Out as He Bids Farewell to Forces

Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen is sworn in as the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and takes the oath of office from Marine Gen. Peter Pace during an Armed Forces Hail and Farewell ceremony at Ft. Myer, Va., Oct. 1. (Defense Department photo/Cherie A. Thurlby)

This is the final day of service for Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Adm. Mullen also spoke with National Public Radio as he headed into retirement. In his interview with Steve Inskeep, Mullen reinforced his earlier assertion that Pakistan is backing a terrorist network – the Haqqanis.

“On the Pakistani side of the border. And I am losing American soldiers. The Haqqanis are killing American soldiers. And from that perspective, I think it’s got to be addressed, which is the reason I spoke to it.”

A full copy of Adm. Mullen’s NPR transcript is available HERE.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen receives a tour of Forward Operating Base Assassin in Iraq by Col.Terry Ferrell, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Oct. 5, 2007. Mullen is on his first tour of the central command area of operations to visit with the leadership and service members assigned to the region. DOD photo by U.S. Navy .

Below is Adm. Mike Mullen’s parting message to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

To the men, women and families of the armed forces of the United States:

It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as your Chairman for the last four years. Everywhere Deborah and I went to see you and your families we walked away humbled by the magnitude of the responsibility you have volunteered to carry and strengthened by the willingness and dignity with which you carry it.

From my first day on the job, I pledged to ensure you had the right strategy, leadership and resources to accomplish your missions. I believe we worked hard to get that right. But you are the ones who turned back the tide of violence in Iraq, made huge strides towards a more secure Afghanistan and defended our Nation’s interests around the globe. Even with all the demands we’ve placed on you, you still look for ways to do even more to help those in need.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the burdens placed on you and your families. Your sacrifices will be forever fixed in my heart, and I am eternally grateful for your service.

Following the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Today, I could use those very words to describe our thoughts of you. We are deeply honored to have served for and with you. May God bless you and your families always.

The Department of Defense has set up a web page bidding “Farewell to Navy Adm. Mike Mullen. It includes a chart showing his travel as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 2011 alone, Mullen traveled to 22 countries and was gone 57 days.

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