General Michael Garrett - Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command - delivers the 73rd Annual Kermit Roosevelt Lecture.
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At a time when the United States and Britain are reorienting their armed forces from counter insurgency to peer competition, with a common focus on readiness, modernisation, and the integration of capabilities, General Michael Garrett discusses the US-UK strategic partnership in a crucial period of change in both countries.
The Kermit Roosevelt Lecture is an exchange of lecturers between the militaries of the United States and the United Kingdom, which first took place in 1947 and this year will be the 73rd of the programme. The initiative for exchanges originated with Mrs Kermit Roosevelt, whose husband Kermit – the son of President Theodore Roosevelt – served in both the British Army and US Army across the two World Wars, and died while on active duty in 1943. Her ideas were set forth in correspondence to General George C Marshall dated 17 June 1944:
‘My husband, Kermit Roosevelt, ...attempted to carry out in his own life his conviction that the development of a closer relationship between individual English and Americans, and a better understanding between the military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom would contribute in large measure to the preservation of world peace. In view of this conviction of his, it seems appropriate... to set up this Memorial.’
The exchange was originally funded by Mrs Roosevelt and through to 1969 by grants from the Rockefeller and McCormick Foundations. In 1970, it was mutually agreed that the series would continue officially supported by the governments of the United Kingdom and United States, and since then senior military officers have conducted annual exchanges, lecturing at several military and academic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
General Michael Garrett assumed duties as the 23rd Commander of United States Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on 21 March 2019. As Commander of the United States Army’s largest organization, he commands 215,000 active duty Soldiers, and provides training and readiness oversight of U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. In total, the Forces Command team includes 745,000 Soldiers and 96,000 Civilians.
General Garrett has commanded at every level from Company through Army Service Component Command, and led units in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A career Infantryman, General Garrett received his commission in 1984 upon graduating from Xavier University. Following his initial military training courses, including Ranger, Pathfinder, and Jumpmaster, he served his formative years in the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 82nd Airborne Division, where he commanded 3rd Battalion 325th Infantry (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also commanded 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division (Light), which he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following Brigade Command, General Garrett served as the Deputy Commanding General of United States Army Recruiting Command, and subsequently, as Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps. In support of Operation New Dawn, he deployed to Iraq as the Deputy Chief of Staff for United States Forces-Iraq. Returning stateside, he served as Commanding General, United States Army Alaska, before assuming duty as Chief of Staff, United States Central Command. His most recent assignment was as Commanding General, United States Army Central (USARCENT) and Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC).
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