Admiral Rogers’ retirement speech has stayed with me since writing about it.
Two items in particular have refused to dissipate:
- One short moment during Rogers’ speech (41:31 mark).
- Admiral Rogers’ tribute to his boss (42:23 mark).
At 41:31 Admiral Rogers says the following:
Remember what it is that we do. We serve the citizens of this nation and our friends and allies around the world. And we never, never violate that trust.
Words don’t convey the intensity in his voice, the sudden flash in his eyes.
The moment passes immediately. Nowhere else does he allow his anger to surface.
Just those few brief seconds.
If you’re reading this and don’t understand Rogers’ intense resolve, I direct you to The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI.
At 42:23 Admiral Rogers addresses his boss:
I was always blessed, no matter how tough things got.
No matter how, quite frankly, inaccurate some of the stuff I’m reading and seeing, I always knew that I had a chairman who had my back, who I loved talking to because he always was honest and straight.
Joe, I just want to say thanks so much for who you are and what you do every day for this nation.
Rogers is referring to General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. – the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dunford is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council.
It’s a shame the camera shifts away from Dunford. It’s not so much Dunford’s reaction, but those of officers seated nearby.
I believe the officer seated next to Dunford’s wife (3rd individual in) is General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
Dunford looks quiet, unassuming. His nickname is “Fighting Joe”.
Here’s the Marine Corps General completing the Boston Marathon in April 2017.
— The Joint Staff (@thejointstaff) April 19, 2017
Dunford completed the race in just under 4 hours and 50 minutes. He was 61 years old.
Dunford’s wearing a t-shirt honoring Lt. Robert Kelly, the son of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Kelly, a former Marine Corps General, is one of Dunford’s closest friends.
As is former Marine Corps General James Mattis.
Mattis of course, is President Trump’s Defense Secretary.
Two former Marine Corps Generals. One current Marine Corp General.
The titles of Secretary of Defense, Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff between them.
It was at this specific moment the obvious hit me.
These are the men.
Chairman Dunford, General Milley – the other officers present in the room – these men coming to pay tribute to Admiral Rogers.
They understand like few others what Admiral Rogers has done for our country.
Because they hold similar roles themselves. They understand the sacrifices made.
These are the individuals standing firm against factions in the Intelligence Community.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t new information. I know this.
But there’s a meaningful difference between knowing and understanding.
When Kelly’s son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, it was Dunford who arrived at his house in uniform to inform him.
Mattis and Kelly recommended each other for Defense Secretary.
The trio’s history is rooted in battle:
Just before the 1st Marine Division advanced on the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on March 23, 2003, Maj. Gen. James Mattis pinned a star onto each collar of his assistant division commander, Col. John F. Kelly. He was now a brigadier general, and the first to be promoted on the battlefield since the Korean War.
Not far from there, another colonel in the unit named Joe Dunford was leading his regimental combat team.
By the end of the campaign, they had fought together in places like Nasiriyah, Al Kut, and eventually Baghdad.
Those three officers went on to become four-star generals. Mattis retired in 2013 as the commander of Central Command, while Kelly retired as commander of US Southern Command in 2016. Dunford became commandant of the Marine Corps, and eventually chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he remains. All three remain good friends.
These are the men who have stood together. Protected our country. They may have been planning their counter-response for years.
Pictures sometimes speak louder than words.
Admiral Rogers wore more than one hat. He was Commander of U.S. Cyber Command [USCYBERCOM], Director of the National Security Agency [NSA], and Chief of the Central Security Service [CSS].
This was by design, not accident.
We are witness to a quiet struggle between factions of Military Intelligence and the Intelligence Community.
Thankfully, Military Intelligence is winning.
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