Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Urges Norwich Grads to Live ‘Uncommon Lives’
May 13, 2012
Army Gen. Martin E.
Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today urged Norwich
University graduates to live “uncommon lives” of leadership based on
Norwich, located in the town of Northfield, Vt., is the oldest of six
senior military colleges and is considered the birthplace of the Reserve
Officers’ Training Corps.
“Norwich has started you on an uncommon road of selflessness and
courage, to go out and contribute and serve our nation,” Dempsey said in
prepared remarks. “Realize it or not, you have internalized the Norwich
virtues of courage, honesty, temperance and wisdom -- guideposts that
will serve you as you lead our nation’s future.”
Norwich is a private university whose student body features a Corps of
Cadets as well as traditional civilian students. Some of this year’s
graduates are joining the U.S. military as commissioned officers. Others
will go on to eventually take leadership roles in business, industry,
politics, government, and other fields of endeavor.
The experiences the university provides will serve all of the graduates
in good stead, because leadership is important in all aspects of life,
Norwich University dates from 1819 and it boasts a long list of famous
leaders as graduates, from Admiral of the Navy George Dewey of
Spanish-American War fame to retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, who had
served as the Army chief of staff in the early 1990s and now serves as
president and chief operating officer of the Association of the United
States Army headquartered in Arlington, Va.
Dempsey said the university “would be little more than a beautiful
monument to the past glory of American leaders if not for you, its next
generation of leaders.”
Now it is up to the graduates to make the most of their experiences at
Norwich -- and the ones they will have in the future -- to make a
difference and have an impact, he said.
Living an uncommon life means achieving “the outcome that is necessary
in whatever particular line of work you choose.” Dempsey said.
Dempsey also spoke about trust. “It doesn’t get any more fundamental
than trust,” he said. “It’s one of the pillars of the strength of our
nation. At every level, trust wins, and it starts with trust in
also “a broader trust between the citizen and the nation, and
nation-to-nation with our allies and partners, as well,” Dempsey said,
noting that the pursuit of U.S. security interests today involves more
than just military power.
“Our security commitments cut across the lines of diplomacy,
intelligence, economics, and social progress,” he said. “It demands the
support of an array of professions and skills as well as alliances,
international systems and volunteer organizations. And it requires the
best from each of us and all of us.”
In today’s changing world, the challenge for Americans involves “doing
what’s right for ourselves, our family, our nation, and the global
community,” Dempsey said.
“We can only make it work,” he added, “if we consistently and
persistently leverage every opportunity to build confidence in each
other, building trust.”