SECDEF Esper’s Final Message to Defense Department

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SUBJECT: Final Message to the Department

It is has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to serve alongside you as the 27th U.S. Secretary of Defense these last eighteen months in defense of our great Nation and adherence to our sworn oath to the Constitution.

Together, we have made solid progress implementing the National Defense Strategy by modernizing the force, improving its readiness, strengthening ties with allies and partners, and reforming the Department to make it more efficient. We have also made major strides in taking care of our military personnel, spouses, and their families, and launched important initiatives to improve diversity, inclusion, and equity in the armed services. At the same time, we stood up the Space Force and Space Command, recapitalized the nuclear triad, expanded the authorities and resources of Cyber Command, and proposed a bold vision for a future Navy. As such, I am confident the Defense Department’s progress on all of these initiatives has improved the security of the United States and advanced our interests abroad.

I am particularly proud of these accomplishments in light of the challenges we faced along the way: a global pandemic; confrontations with Iran and its proxies throughout the Middle East; continued deployment of troops into conflict zones; domestic civil unrest; malign behavior globally by Russia and China; and a charged political atmosphere here at home. Through thick and thin, however, we have always put People and Country first.

In my first message to the Department in June 2019, I emphasized the great importance I place on a commitment by all, and especially Leaders, to those values and behaviors that represent the best of the military profession and mark the character and integrity of the Armed Forces the American people respect and admire. I want to thank you all for living up to that standard, for remaining apolitical, and for honoring your oath to the Constitution.

While I step aside knowing that there is much more we could accomplish together to advance America’s national security, there is much achieved in the time we had to improve the readiness, capabilities, and professionalism of the joint force, while fundamentally transforming and preparing it for the future.

I will always admire and remain forever proud of the great work our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Space Professionals, and Civilians do each and every day around the world and here at home to keep America safe. Stay focused on your mission, remain steadfast in your pursuit of excellence, and always do the right thing. Following these imperatives will ensure you remain the most ready, respected, and capable military force in the world, which is what our Nation expects and deserves.


Mark T. Esper

Politico Articles About Military Health System Reform and SECDEF Comment

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Just keeping you informed…

Over the last few days there have been two prominently featured articles about reforming the Military Health System (MHS). The first was this article:

Esper eyes $2.2 billion cut to military health care

But then the SECDEF put this message out on social media:

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Then there was this second article:

Trump rejects Pentagon’s proposed cuts to military health care

In addition, Military Times put this out as well:

Trump shoots down Pentagon proposal to cut troops’ health care

SECDEF’s National Defense Strategy First Year Accomplishments

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This is exactly the kind of high-level document you should read so that you have a perspective on DoD policy. These kind of things tend to come up in interviews for big jobs that will often get you promoted. Here it is…


Secretary Mark T. Esper Message to the Force on Accomplishments in Implementation of the National Defense Strategy

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On 7 JUL 2020, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper released a video address to thank the members of the Department for their hard work and contributions as a team to achieve the goals of the National Defense Strategy over the past year. The Secretary addressed the progress made through three main lines of efforts: lethality and readiness of the force; strengthening allies and build partners; reforming the Department for greater efficiency and accountability. He also addresses his personal priority line of effort: service members and their families.

In addition, the Secretary outlined ten targeted goals to support implementation of these lines of efforts.

“Soon after I came into office, civilian and uniformed leaders across the Department and I met to develop detailed plans to implement these lines of effort. We created a list of ten targeted goals, each with sub tasks, and we set out to accomplish most of these by the end of 2020. They are as follows:

  1. Review, update, and approve all China and Russia plans;
  2. Implement the Immediate Response Force, Contingency Response Force, and Dynamic Force Employment enhanced readiness concepts;
  3. Reallocate, reassign, and redeploy forces in accordance with the NDS;
  4. Achieve a higher level of sustainable readiness;
  5. Develop a coordinated plan to strengthen allies and build partners;
  6. Reform and manage the 4th Estate and DoD;
  7. Focus the Department on China;
  8. Modernize the force—invest in game changing technologies;
  9. Establish realistic joint war games, exercises, and training plans; and,
  10. Develop a modern joint warfighting concept, and ultimately, doctrine.

I am proud to report that we’ve made real progress on these goals, with most on track to be accomplished on time. I will soon be posting an extended list of what we’ve achieved over the past year on the DoD website, but today I want to highlight several standouts, and celebrate what we have accomplished together.”

Secretary Esper’s full video message can be found here. The transcript can be found here.