R 192303Z FEB 15 PSN 694160H26










RMKS/1.  Reference (a) is a welcome message from Secretary of Defense Carter 
to all Department of Defense personnel.  Secretary Carter's memo is copied 
below for widest dissemination.

"I am honored to become your Secretary of Defense.  I am proud to lead men 
and women who devote their lives to the highest calling - the defense of our 
Nation.  And I am grateful to follow in the footsteps of Secretary Hagel, one 
of our Nation's most honorable and conscientious public servants.

We live in challenging times - times that demand leadership and focus.  And 
starting today, I will be calling on each and every one of you to help carry 
out three top priorities.

Our first priority is helping the President make the best possible national 
security decisions for protecting our country and then implementing those 
decisions with our department's long-admired excellence.

We confront a turbulent and dangerous world:  continuing turmoil in the 
Middle East and North Africa and the malignant and savage terrorism emanating 
from it; an ongoing conflict in Afghanistan; a reversion to archaic security 
thinking in parts of Europe; tensions in the Asia Pacific; the proliferation 
of weapons of mass destruction; and intensifying threats in cyberspace.

In addressing these challenges, I have pledged to provide the President my 
most candid strategic advice.  I will count on your experience and expertise 
as I formulate that advice.  I will also ensure the President receives candid 
professional military advice.

But as we tackle the many threats to our national security, we must never 
lose sight of our Nation's enduring strengths or of the opportunities to make 
a brighter future and better world for our children.  The United States 
remains the strongest and most resilient nation on earth.  Because of you, we 
have the finest fighting force the world has ever known.  We have friends and 
allies in every corner of the world, while our adversaries have few.  We have 
long possessed the world's most dynamic and innovative economy.  And our 
values, principles, and leadership continue to inspire hope and progress 
around the world.

Safeguarding America's security and global leadership will depend on another 
of my main priorities:  ensuring the strength and health of you who make up 
the greatest fighting force the world has ever known - our Soldiers, Sailors, 
Airmen, Marines, Civilians, and Contractors all around the world.

I will do that by focusing on the well-being, safety, and dignity of each of 
you and your families.  I will ensure your training and equipment are as 
superb as you are.  And I pledge to make decisions about sending you into 
harm's way with the greatest reflection and utmost care because this is my 
highest responsibility as Secretary of Defense.

Honoring all these commitments also requires us to focus on building the 
force of the future, which is my third priority.

We must steer through the turmoil of sequestration, which imposes wasteful 
uncertainty and risk to our Nation's defense.

We must balance all parts of our defense budget so that we continue to 
attract the best people - people like you; so that there are enough of you to 
defend our interests around the world; and so that you are always well-
equipped and well-trained to execute your critical mission.

To win support from our fellow citizens for the resources we need, we must 
show that we can make better use of every taxpayer dollar.  That means a 
leaner organization, less overhead, and reforming our business and 
acquisition practices.

It also means embracing the future - and embracing change.

We must be open to change in order to operate effectively in an increasingly 
dynamic world; to keep pace with advances in technology; and to attract new 
generations of talented and dedicated Americans to our calling.

I first arrived at the Pentagon more than three decades ago and have had the 
privilege of serving Secretaries of Defense in Democratic and Republican 
administrations.  I took the oath of office this morning because I love our 
country and am devoted to you who defend it.  And I am committed to our 
fundamental mission:  the defense of our Nation.

I look forward to leading and serving alongside you at this extraordinary 
moment in our Nation's history.

May God bless you and your families, and may God bless America."

2. Released by Vice Admiral S. H. Swift, Director, Navy Staff.//