COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY BRIEFING WITH
MAJOR GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY, COMMANDER,
1ST ARMORED DIVISION;
CAPTAIN FAKR AL-JALEEL (SP), COMPANY COMMANDER,
IRAQI CIVIL DEFENSE CORPS
RE: ONGOING OPERATIONS OF TASK FORCE 1ST ARMORED
DIVISION AND IRAQI CIVIL DEFENSE CORPS IN BAGHDAD
LOCATION: VIDEOTELECONFERENCE FROM BAGHDAD, IRAQ
TIME: 9:59 a.m. EST
DATE: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2004
GEN. DEMPSEY: Good evening.
(Arabic greeting) -- for those of you celebrating Eid ul Adha.
Today I'm going to update you on the Task Force 1st Armored Division's ongoing
operations in the city of Baghdad. Because this operation is aimed at, focused
on the former -- continuing to defeat the former regime operating here, some of
it will be familiar to you. But the piece of it that may not be familiar that I
want to highlight is the participation in these operations by the Iraqi Civil
The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps in Baghdad is currently trained to the company
level. Now, what that means is companies are about 190 men strong and we've
trained, as you'll see on a subsequent slide, about 4,000 of them in 190-man
increments. The next step will be to form battalions, which are four companies
of that size; and then eventually, one brigade-size unit inside of the city of
Baghdad. So we've got them trained up to the company level and operating with
I want to introduce at this point Captain Fakr al-Jaleel (sp), who's a company
commander. He's one of the company commanders in Baghdad. And I asked him if he
would be a spokesman for them today and explain their part not only in these
operations but in the ongoing effort to build the ICDC in Baghdad. And he'll
have a statement in a moment, after my slide presentation. And then the two of
us together will take questions.
Within weeks we'll have seven battalions -- that many soldiers trained, they
won't be trained at the battalion level yet; that will take some time between
now and the summer to train their staffs, to give them an indigenous
intelligence capability, to give them communications and transportation. At this
point, they rely on us for some of that. What we've got at this point, though,
are thousands of willing, patriotic young men and women in Baghdad working in
the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.
This is the task of Operation Iron Resolve, so named because it's our intention
to demonstrate resolve through this period of time as well as work closely with
the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.
What you see up here are the highlights, I would call them, of operations to
date. We started on the 12th of January. Operation Iron Resolve will go for as
long as we have intelligence to justify it going. We anticipate about another
three- or four-week period of Operation Iron Resolve.
The highlights you see there, though, are those places where we have
interdicted, disrupted and in some cases defeated the cellular structure of the
former regime elements working in Baghdad.
Now throughout this period, there have been other operations ongoing, and this
is not the only thing we're doing. And in fact -- (to staff) -- next slide --
this is the roll-up of the part of Operation Iron Resolve focused on the former
And just recall that when we talk about operators, we mean the trigger-pullers,
and then we talk about financiers, suppliers and leaders, it's just that. It's
those that organize against us. The operators are the street-level shooters.
(To staff.) The next slide.
I mentioned we were doing other things through this period. We -- this period
was characterized by a great deal of human intelligence, especially on the issue
of weapons, arms and ammunition. And so those little starbursts you see depicted
across the map there indicate places where we either found on our own or were
led to caches of weapons.
(To staff.) Next slide.
And so Operation Iron Resolve, overall -- remember, I said we did other things
than attack specific cellular structures. This is a summary of everything that's
gone on since about the 12th of January in Baghdad. And I'd draw your attention
to the last three bullets, the RPGs, the small arms and the IED-making
materials. Those we consider to be significant items to take off the street, for
the safety of all.
(To staff.) And next slide.
This is the future of Baghdad and the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and the Iraqi
police. Lower left-hand corner of that slide -- or the lower right-hand corner
of the slide, I guess, is the new patch recently approved for the Iraqi Civil
Defense Corps. The brigade in Baghdad will be the 40th Brigade and will have the
battalions numbered 301 through 307. So that's the patch.
And then you see that over time we will build battalion-level organizations,
three on the east side of the river, four on the west side of the river, with
the brigade headquarters on the west side of the river. And they will over time
integrate themselves into operations with the coalition, with the Iraqi police,
with the fixed-site protective services and, if necessary, the new Iraqi army.
We have recently received responsibility -- that is, my division -- for
mentoring a new Iraqi battalion -- I'm sorry -- an Iraqi army battalion. In
fact, we don't call it new anymore. It's the Iraqi army battalion up in Taji,
which is about 20 kilometers north of the northern limit of the city.
And so we're going to, over time, work with all three of these organizations to
conduct operations, give them their own indigenous intelligence network, and
then allow them to conduct operations, with our assistance, to defeat whatever
enemies confront them.
At this point, I'd like to turn it over -- (to staff) -- next slide -- I'd like
to turn it over to Captain al-Jaleel (sp) for his opening statement.
(Note: Captain al-Jaleel's remarks are provided through interpreter.)
CAPT. AL-JALEEL (sp): (Interpretation off mike) -- also, they were (in valuable
and tactical ?) -- (inaudible) -- with the American officers, who were very
cooperative, and they were really capable enough to transfer all their
facilities to us. All these facilities were helping and assisting the Iraqi
There have been so many responsibilities; we have been doing it, one with --
together with the coalition forces. And we have just been -- we have made so
many raids to some of these houses, and we were capable enough to confiscate
some of these weapons who were -- and we were capable enough to install some of
these checkpoints in the streets and in the public streets. And in some of these
-- through these checkpoints we were capable enough to take over -- we were
capable to capture some of those people, some of those criminals.
And through intelligence, we were capable enough to also put our hands on so
many of the bomb cars that -- they were threatening the lives of the Iraqi
And our people, our ICDC, also they have taken their responsibilities in the
stations, petrol stations. And some of those people -- some of our people of the
ICDC were capable enough to also take their places in the stations, in the
petrol stations, so that they can provide help, (assistance ?) to the Iraqi
people. And they have provided their life, to sacrifice their life for the
country and for the people of Iraq.
At the end of my speech I would promise the Iraqi people that we will stay
forever helping and providing help for the Iraqis and they will take bigger
responsibilities in order to maintain the security and save the life for the
Thank you very much.
GEN. DEMPSEY: Thank you, Catherine (sp).
Okay, we're prepared to take your questions now.
Q General Dempsey, there is an opinion -- I'm Khalil Hafi (ph) for Al Arabiyah
channel. There's an opinion saying that you, the Americans, use the Iraqi Civil
Defense and the Iraqi army to protect the American -- some of the Iraqi army
used to protect the American positions, vital positions, and it's better to use
them for the -- to save the Iraqis in the different places; for example, to stop
the infiltrators to come into Iraq on the borders, and something like that. Do
you agree with this?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Well, in a moment I'm going to ask the captain to respond from his
perspective. But in terms of using the Iraqis to protect us, I think you would
agree -- I think you should agree -- that we are the finest -- the United States
Army is the finest army in the world. And our motivation is to train the
willing, patriotic, young Iraqi men and women to learn and to develop the skills
they need to defend and protect their own country. Working with them side by
side is really the only possible way to do that.
Now, as to how the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps will be used in the future, after
we step aside, that will be for the Iraqi people to decide. But the reason
they're in our formations and walking, marching side by side with us now is
that's really the best way to train. But I would like to see if the captain has
any other perspective.
CAPT. AL-JALEEL: Yes, the ICDC are working -- they're working side by side with
the coalition forces. And we are taking our roles and taking the responsibility
to provide protection for the innocent Iraqis from the attackers and from the
GEN. DEMPSEY: Questions. Yes, sir?
Q (In Arabic.)
GEN. DEMPSEY: I actually, I lost that one. I don't know if the booth -- go
INTERPRETER: Okay. Here's the question -- he's from Kuwait TV; he's asking if
you have any information regarding what happened today in al-Doura city
regarding the capture of some of the people who have got some explosive devices.
So do you have any idea about that?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah, actually I do. There were -- the Iraqi police and some of
the fixed-site protective services found two men today and placing a roadside
bomb, took them into custody. The initial indications are that one is an Iranian
and one is an Afghani (sic). And we, of course, have to develop that through
interrogation and try to determine what that means. But yeah, there were two men
apprehended today near the al-Doura refinery and placing a roadside bomb.
Questions. Yes, ma'am?
Q Hi there, Margaret -- (name inaudible) -- CNN. General, quite a few members of
the ICDC that are attached to the 1st AD have claimed that they haven't been
paid for up to two months. They also say that every time they've approached the
coalition they have been given no answers. Could you both kind of comment on
GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah, I'll tell you that in Baghdad if that's the case that's news
to me. We have had some -- I will admit to you that pay -- establishing a pay
system, a financial system in the city has been a challenge. I am unaware of any
of the ICDC soldiers that work for the 1st Armored Division going without pay.
But let's see what the captain has to say.
CAPT. AL-JALEEL: It's not true. The payments have been made regularly to the
people of the ICDC as -- two days ago. And I was the person who was in charge of
that, and it has been paid. The payments have been made directly to those
GEN. DEMPSEY: What I will admit to you is that the pay has been a moving target.
We're trying to figure out what is the right pay scale without creating an
inflationary economy here. Everything we do here has other, second- and
third-order effects. So, for example, initially there was a base pay, and then
we determined over time that the soldiers deserved a hazardous duty pay, and so
we added that on.
Now by the way, this is not entirely different than we see in our own system as
we decide whether to have the tax exclusion, hazardous duty pay, family
separation. It goes up, it goes down. These things happen in any society,
really. And it's something we're starting up here. But for right now, we feel
like we've got it about where we need it.
Oh, yeah, let's go -- is there anybody in the Pentagon, or did they take the
Super Bowl day off there?
Q No, General, some of us are here. Barbara Starr from CNN.
Could I ask you, General Dempsey, to talk in some detail about your plan to
reduce the number of military operating locations in Baghdad? I believe you were
at 60, you're now down to about 26, and you plan to go to eight by April. One,
are those numbers correct? What's the strategy behind doing that? How convinced
are you that the Iraqi security forces can realistically look after that much of
the security situation in Baghdad by the June time frame?
And finally, is this solely a military decision, or were you given the guidance
to do this by the Department of Defense and the administration?
GEN. DEMPSEY: You broke up a little bit, but let me answer the part of it that I
did clearly understand, and then if you need to come back at me, please do.
The question is, why are we moving outside of the city. And initially, you know,
when we came here in June, we had 60 operating bases inside of the city, and it
was necessary to do so because there was no police force, no fixed-site
protective service function. There was nothing called the Iraqi Civil Defense
Corps. That came on board about the 27th of August. So inside the city of
Baghdad in June was the United States Army and its coalition partners. So we
lived inside the city in 60 different base camps, both literally to provide
security but also to provide the appearance of security by our presence.
Over time, that has become less necessary. We have now about 7,500, almost 8,000
-- we just graduated a class of police from the academy -- we have almost 8,000
police. We'll have 10,000 by May, and 19,000 by February '05. We had zero ICDC;
now we have about 4,000. We'll have 6,000 here within the next few months. There
were no fixed-site protective service functions; there are now 5,700 of them;
700 or so work directly for me, 5,000 for the ministries.
As we have built those capacities up, those capabilities up, it makes absolute
sense to me that we should allow those functions to be performed by Iraqis, for
a couple of reasons. One is a very practical reason, which is they want to do
it, as you heard the captain say. The second reason is that they know more about
what goes on -- far more about what goes on in this city than I do. We just
mentioned that we found an Iranian and an Afghani. A couple of days ago, we
found a Jordanian with an RPG. I can't tell you from a visual acquisition of a
car driving down the street who's who; they can. It makes sense that they would
therefore take responsibility increasingly over time. So we have gone from 60
base camps to 24 right now. It will be eight by about the 1st of May.
Now by the way, when we talk about moving out of the city, we're talking about
kilometers, not hundreds of kilometers. We're talking about an organization that
will live on the perimeter of the city, not out in the desert someplace. We're
talking about the difference in getting someplace in five minutes, in 15
minutes. But it's an important difference, and in my heart I think this is what
the Iraqi people want and deserve because when we're in the middle of a city, we
create a -- and you know this for sure; you're a part of it -- a huge footprint
that you have to maneuver around. And so we will be able to reduce some of the
trafficability challenges in Baghdad; a city, by the way, which had 500,000 cars
on the 1st of April last year and has about 1.2 million cars now. And you know
that, too, because you have to fight to get here just like I do. So that's the
As far as what kind of guidance did I get from Washington, D.C. and elsewhere,
the guidance was to seek whenever possible, and whenever the capacity of the
Iraqi security forces allowed us to, local standoff; that is, just what we're
doing: local standoff. Move to the outside and allow the security forces, with
our assistance, to be the forefront -- to be in the forefront of this security
And as for my degree of confidence that they will be able to handle it, clearly
we will watch the emerging threat. We think we have made a very significant dent
in the former regime's apparatus and network, and there are other challenges
that may be emerging, and we will watch those. And we will help the Iraqi Civil
Defense Corps, for example, build up its own intelligence network that allows
them to operate inside the city with the police and the fixed-site protective
service. I'm actually very confident. I think it's a necessary and correct step.
Q Following on that, you mentioned earlier that you have had some success
against four of the regime cells. And can you tell me, how many cells do you
think are still operating that are former regime cells, what's their state, and
what kind of clarity do you have on any al Qaeda cells or any other foreign
cells that might be developing in Baghdad?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah. Let me -- I will -- I can certainly answer about the former
regime. We knew for some time because of our bottoms-up intelligence -- that is
to say, we built a picture inside the city over time. Between the time we got
here and the time, let's say, of Saddam Hussein's capture, we had a very good
picture of about eight cells. But as you remember in previous press conferences,
I admitted that there was this cloud that I couldn't penetrate. Over top of
that, I had a sense that there was an organization to it, but I just couldn't
penetrate it. And then the capture of Saddam Hussein allowed us to penetrate
into that and determine some of the leadership, especially the financial
backbone of it. We also discovered that instead of eight, it was 14 cells. This
isn't new news, by the way. And we began attacking the leadership. And of the 14
cells, we have certainly disrupted eight of them, and in this most recent
operation, continued that effort.
Now, the thing about a cell of insurgents, let's call them, it's a living
organism. And so, you know, the act of defeating a piece of it on one day, it
can regenerate itself. And so what we're trying to determine is to what extent
You asked about their state. I would absolutely say with confidence that the
insurgency in Baghdad is both -- is much less organized than it was a month ago,
and it is much more fearful than it was a month ago because our operations are
much more precise and much more effective in bringing in exactly the right
people on our terms for a change.
Q (Through interpreter) You have just captured Saddam, is he the person who
showed you the way to these cells? Was Saddam Hussein that person who just led
you to the way for these cells?
GEN. DEMPSEY: I wouldn't put it exactly that way. Let me, instead, say that the
capture of Saddam Hussein and some of the documents that were captured along
with him allowed us to get a view of the insurgent cell that we didn't have
Q Evan Osnos from the Chicago Tribune. You might remember about a month ago we
talked about the transition to local control and how you would make that
determination. In that month there has been, of course, a series of other
attacks. There was -- the most major bombing would be in Baghdad, and then most
recently, far out of your area of responsibility, up in Erbil. How do events
like that enter into your calculus as you're making these determinations? Or do
you consider them red herrings? Or how much do they really impact that decision?
GEN. DEMPSEY: They are always -- it's probably too soon to say that they're
impacting on the decision because the decision isn't entirely clear, so it's
hard to impact on something that's not yet fully developed.
But I will tell you that from our perspective here in Baghdad, the
characterization or the quality of those attacks is different than the
hit-and-run style of the former regime, and because it's different it bears
additional study. It concerns us that it could be another enemy, a different
enemy, a foreign influence enemy, a terrorist network enemy.
But I go back to what I said about how it would impact on local control. One of
the challenges for us in figuring out who's working against us inside of Baghdad
is that, you know, we bring a uniquely Western view of life. And I mean, for
example, you know, I'm born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey. So being in
Baghdad, I'm not all that adept at sitting on the street corner and picking out
people. I can tell you that the good captain here is. So in some ways, I think
the question about whether this effects negatively the transition to local
control could actually turn out to be quite the opposite. It could be that
that's all the more reason to transfer more quickly to local control -- could
Now again, this is all too new to me to be completely articluate and completely
confident in what I'm saying. But the sooner we get Iraqis involved in their own
security, in my view the sooner we're able to defeat those coming in from
outside because they know who they are, and in every case it's not entirely
clear to us.
One other question. Ma'am?
Q Yeah, hello. Could you talk a little -- could you talk a bit about the
training that ICDC have undergone, and also Iraqi police if possible,
particularly with respect to the terrorist attacks and increasing presence of
foreign fighters, if you like, in Iraq?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah, I can, and then I'm going to -- I will ask the captain to
comment on the training. But about 60 percent of them, by the way, are from --
are come to us having served in the military before, so they don't come to us
untrained. In some cases it's refresher training. In other cases, it's adopting
methods that are more conducive to democratic societies. But we take them
through a one-week academy course, which you're all welcome to visit by the way
-- we have two of them, one on each side of the river -- and that's kind of a
basic training and refresher training. And then we actually take them and we
form a partnership with a particular unit in one of my formations, and they go
through training in we call it cordon and search: the act of picking a target
inside of an urban environment, cordoning it off, moving into it, penetrating
it, attacking the target, bringing it out, traffic control points, route
reconaissance to make sure that the route is clear and safe.
But now let me see what the captain has to say about the training.
CAPT. AL-JALEEL (SP): (Through interpreter) At the beginning, the training was
two weeks. They have been trained, the ICDC, on the methods, the main methods of
how to use the weapons, as we mentioned before, and the assistance and the
emergencies and the first aid with the -- through working with the coalition
forces. And there has been an intensive course and a continuous course on how to
get these trainings. Some of them have been trained how to attack the terrorists
and how to stop these terrorism attacks in anywhere.
GEN. DEMPSEY: Let's go to the Pentagon again.
Q Good afternoon, sir. Sandra Jontz with Stars & Stripes. If I could take you
down a slightly different path here, what are you being told about CENTCOM's R&R
program, the rest and recuperation program, and thus what are you passing on to
your troops about that and the possible cancellation of the program or
suspension for February and March?
GEN. DEMPSEY: The question relates to the R&R plan. We did make a command
decision -- that would be me -- that we couldn't do any more environmental
leave, R&R, after 31 January. We did that principally because we have a mission
to accomplish in transitioning the city of Baghdad over to the unit following
us. And when you do the arithmetic, at any given time we had about 2,000
soldiers gone on the R&R program.
By the way, I completely supported it. I embraced it. We sent and achieved about
60 percent of our soldiers on the program. But I can't any longer have them gone
at such a critical point. And so that decision was made. We also were beginning
to bang into some transportation problems, challenges, in that, for example, a
two-week leave was talking about 25 days from start to finish. And so your point
is a good one.
We have -- for 1st Armored Division -- I got to make that clear, too. For 1st
Armored Division, who is leaving in about -- well, some of them are leaving soon
and some a little bit later, over the next 90 days -- we have effectively
stopped that program. We've got two other, smaller programs ongoing for R&R, one
to Qatar, which is a 96-hour program, and then we have a facility here inside of
Baghdad where we pull people offline for 48 hours to 72 hours. And so there are
still some opportunities. But yeah, you've stated the challenge correctly, and I
responded to it the way I think I should have responded to it.
Q Jen Aybran (ph) from Reuters. Can you talk a bit about the foreign insurgents
in Baghdad? What sense do you get? Is there an increase? And also, is there much
cooperation between former regime elements and foreign?
GEN. DEMPSEY: I can talk definitively about the presence as we know it. And as
far as their cooperation, I'll tell you that's the number-one question on my
intelligence requirements list. The question I ask my intelligence officer every
morning is what evidence, if any, exists that the former regime is cooperating
with or has even potentially ceded the lead to foreign influences. I don't know
the answer to that.
But I'll tell you what we have seen. Until three days ago, we had captured a
total of 19 foreigners in the city of Baghdad, out of several thousand
individuals that we captured. So it -- I would not have characterized that
particular number as a significant part of the fight. We very clearly still are
fighting, as the principal enemy, the former regime and its structures.
Now I just mentioned in the last 72 hours we've picked up three foreigners. And
then you add that to the earlier question about the particular nature of the
VBIED at the front gate here and the attack up in Erbil, and I think it causes
us to try figure out exactly what is occurring here. I don't know the answer to
that yet. I'll just tell you that I am alert to that. And we have -- as we build
this indigenous Iraqi security network, that is a question we hope they will
help us answer as well.
Okay. I think we've got about five minutes. So we'll go a couple more questions.
Q Ashak Khalil (sp) with Cox News. I have a question for Captain -- (inaudible)
-- or Captain Fakr (sp).
(Through interpreter.) Captain Fakr, can you talk to me about the -- (inaudible)
-- their presence in the petrol station, and what is their role for the
protecting the people in the petrol stations?
CAPT. AL-JALEEL (sp): The ICDC people were present at the petrol station so that
they can organize the traffic and so that they can solve the traffic jam and the
-- because some of the people were trying to violate or trying to stop the --
trying to create a problem. So the ICDC tried to organize the traffic and the
cars in the petrol station. And they tried to stop some of those people who were
trying to create problems and trying to do such a traffic jam.
GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah. I'd only add that the ICDC has been a tremendous group of
young men and women willing to do whatever they can to contribute to stability
in Baghdad. I mean, if you live in Baghdad, you've got to appreciate that.
We'll take two more questions. There's one.
Q James Hyde (sp) of the Times. What's the status of the foreign fighters that
you pick up and detain? And are they processed in any different way to the
former regime loyalists that you have in detention?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah, I hope you don't mind a one-word answer to that one. The
answer's yes. Are they processed differently? Yes. Why? Because we want to know
why they're here.
And I can actually take two more. That was a short one. Yeah. We'll go with the
Pentagon the last question, but let me have this gentleman here.
Q (Through interpreter.) (Off mike) -- Al-Arabiya, from Al-Arabiya. There are --
four units are organizing security: the Iraqi forces, the ICDC, the Iraqi police
and the police for protecting the establishment, this variety of those forces.
What is the future between the Iraqi minister of defense and the forces of the
ICDC? Are those going -- the forces of the ICDC, are they going to join the
Iraqi forces -- the minister of defense?
GEN. DEMPSEY: (Off mike) -- I will let him have shot at it.
But let me ask you this, are you an Iraqi citizen living here in Baghdad?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Then I say you probably will have a voice in that decision. I
think it's premature for us to put any particular structure in place that you
may want to undo after we leave. Now I will tell you for now, they're all
working for us and we're training them and we will continue to work with them,
but I think those kind of questions are best left for sovereignty as it is
achieved. I think the Iraqis -- now, my personal opinion is I think the Iraqi
Civil Defense Corps and the police are a powerful team for this kind of urban
warfare and urban security challenge.
CAPT. AL-JALEEL (SP): (Through interpreter) The ICDC is an independent corps,
but we are quite confident in the future that they might join the minister of
defense. And for the time being, I don't have any idea about that one, about
which minister are they going to be classified or which minister are they going
GEN. DEMPSEY: Okay. Pentagon?
Q Yes, sir. Barbara Starr again, CNN. Given your one-word answer about whether
people are being processed differently, I wonder if I could just follow up on
that. To your knowledge, sir, has anyone taken into custody in Baghdad or in
Iraq who is perhaps not Iraqi been sent to Guantanamo Bay?
GEN. DEMPSEY: I don't know about that. When I say that they're being handled
differently, that's by me and in the cooperative organizational intelligence
network that we have on our side, that's representing all of those potential
government agencies' intelligence apparatus to determine collectively what is
going on, not only in Baghdad but throughout the country and in the region. So
no, I didn't -- no, please don't take the implication that they're going to
Guantanamo. I don't know -- you know, I process them through, I get as much
tactical intelligence as I can get, and then they go into -- generally speaking,
into Abu Ghraib. But what my point was is we have different questions for them
than we do for the former regime who's shooting an AK-47 at us.
Look, I wanted to -- first of all, thanks for coming today. I know for some of
you, this is one of only two holidays of the year, so I appreciate your
I wanted to publicly and personally thank the captain for appearing with me. You
know, it's not without its challenges and concerns and risks.
But here's my message to you, to the Iraqi people, really: There are a lot of
courageous young men and women that are willing to be part of the future of
Iraq; this young man just happens to be one of them. And I'm very proud that he
agreed to be here with me today. I'm very proud of what he's doing and his
soldiers. And it's reason -- you often wonder why I'm so optimistic about the
future, it's, generally speaking, because I run into a young man like this
captain here often.
So please join me and give him a round of applause. (Applause.)