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Boy on the BridgeThe Story of John Shalikashvili's American Success$
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Andrew Marble

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178028

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178028.001.0001

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Retirement Day

Retirement Day

September 30, 1997—Fort Myer, Virginia

(p.291) 21 Retirement Day
Boy on the Bridge

Andrew Marble

University Press of Kentucky

The chapter is set at Fort Myer, Virginia, on September 30, 1997, the day General John Shalikashvili retired from the US military. The chapter overviews the retirement ceremony from Shalikashvili’s perspective as he reviews the honor guard with President William J. Clinton and Secretary of Defense William Cohen and thinks back to that night when he first laid eyes on US soldiers in Pappenheim and the role that luck has played in his attaining the American dream. The chapter also thumbnails his accomplishments as chairman: (1) confronting historic change, especially by realizing Partnership for Peace and NATO expansion, (2) was more supportive of non-traditional military missions (military operations other than war, MOOTW), (3) prepared the US military for the challenges of the twenty-first century, particularly by downsizing the military yet upgrading their capability and readiness, including by emphasizing joint education, joint planning, and joint training, and (4) rebalanced civil-military relations. The chapter ends with Shalikashvili’s closing remarks, emphasizing his love for soldiers and their families.

Keywords:   John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retirement ceremony, NATO expansion, Partnership for Peace, jointness, military operations other than war (MOOTW), downsizing, love of soldiers, civil-military relations

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