ICYMI: SASC Chairman Inhofe Remarks at SASC Nomination Hearing for Army Chief of Staff

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, gave opening remarks this morning at a SASC nomination hearing for General James C. McConville, USA, for reappointment to the grade of general and to be Chief of Staff of the Army. 

As Prepared for Delivery: 

The Committee meets today to consider the nomination of General James C. McConville, U.S. Army for reappointment to the grade of general and to be the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Thank you for your distinguished service and that of your entire family. In fact, all three of your children are currently serving.

The National Defense Strategy (NDS) directs our nation’s military to prepare for the return of great power competition. This means the Army must be prepared to deter and, if necessary, decisively defeat potential near-peer adversaries like China and Russia.

In order for the Army to achieve that goal, our Army must be manned, trained, and equipped appropriately.

The Army has made significant progress in rebuilding readiness across the force, but there is still much work to be done. A high state of readiness is crucial for our nation to demonstrate peace through strength.

With our reduced defense budgets during the Obama administration and with China and Russia’s alarming speed of modernization of both conventional and nuclear forces, they present a credible threat to America and our allies and partners around the world.  In fact, in some areas both have surpassed us.

It’s past time for action. Senior Army leadership has testified that the Army is outranged and outgunned as currently organized and equipped. The future of our Army’s readiness and relevance requires modernization now.

General McConville, you were part of the detailed and exhaustive look at every single program to ensure that each supports the National Defense Strategy. You made hard decisions on programs that did not meet the NDS in order to reallocate funding for modernization efforts that will help the Army regain the qualitative and quantitative advantage that has eroded.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on how you intend to man, train and equip our Army.

Thank you again for your willingness to continue serving in our Army and our great nation.