Friday, January 13, 2017
Hartzler: Mattis will lead DOD in direction it so desperately needs
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), chairwoman of the House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, on Friday delivered remarks in support of the bill to grant a waiver that would allow General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense.
Hartzler’s Remarks (as prepared for delivery):
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise today as an advocate for the United States military and the selfless men and women who fill its ranks. And while I fully appreciate the points my colleagues are making, this is an extraordinary time at which we consider this legislation, and an extraordinary man about whom we are speaking.
In just one week, our Nation will have its new President. And precedent tells us that we should also have the President’s Secretary of Defense to step in and assume control of the Department of Defense that day as well. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines must have their organization’s leader in position. That clear and steady leadership is crucial when lives are on the line.
The state of our military’s readiness also merits mentioning within this discussion. Troop op-tempo rates are dangerously high, and their retention rate is low. Our aircraft are unreliably old, and many maintainers are inexperienced and new. Never before have there been such extraordinary challenges to the manning, training, and equipping of our forces.
We ask our troops to stand ready to and actively fight against a resurgent Russia, emergent China, unstable North Korea, unpredictable Iran, and widespread violent terrorism. Never before has there been such extraordinary demand on our men and women in uniform.
These are extraordinary times -- with extraordinary circumstances. General Mattis is the extraordinary man who can lead the Department of Defense in the direction it so desperately needs. And for that reason, I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this measure.