Remarks by the President at Commander-in-Chief Ball [January 22, 2013]   [open pdf - 147KB]

From President Obama's opening remarks: "Let me begin by just saying you all dress up pretty nice. (Applause.) I hope everybody is having a wonderful time. Now, those of you who are in uniform, you look outstanding. Your dates do look better, though. (Applause.) I just want to point this out. (Laughter.) I'm not going to give a long speech. What I really want to do is come down and express the extraordinary gratitude not just of me as your Commander-in-Chief, but more importantly, the thanks of all the American people. I want to start by thanking some of our outstanding leaders who are here: our hosts, our Senior Enlisted Advisors from all five branches of our military. (Applause.) The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Marty Dempsey, who promised to sing sometime tonight, so you should hold him to it. (Laughter.) The Vice Chairman, Sandy Winnefeld, and all our outstanding members of the Joint Chiefs. Our Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Vietnam veteran, Ric Shinseki, who is here. And we're honored to be joined by some truly extraordinary Americans, our wounded warriors, who inspire us with their incredible strength and resolve. (Applause.) Our enlisted men and women and junior officers -- the backbone of our military. (Applause.) Our amazing military families -- (applause) -- including the families of the fallen -- our Gold Star families -- we will stand with you always. The members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen in the house. (Applause.) And the recipients of our nation's highest military decoration -- the Medal of Honor. We are honored by your presence. (Applause.)"

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