Washington DC - Army and Navy Club Ballroom - 11 December 2018
Distinguished Guests and Friends, I have the privilege as Founder and Chairman of The First Alliance Foundation to welcome all of you to the Army Navy Club tonight as we celebrate the launch of our foundation, “TFA” .
While you all are honored guests, I wish to introduce just a few of you now:
New Zealand Ambassador to the US (and former NZ Ambassador to France) Rosemary Banks and her husband Bryan Lockstone
Monsier Patrick Lachaussee, Conseiller Senior, Ambassade de France a Washington, Representing the Ambassador of France to the US
General Mick Nicholson. Most recently the NATO Alliance Force Commander in Afghanistan, and his wife, Norine
Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge, Pres, US National Defense University and his wife Julie
Lt. General Guy Swan, Vice President, Association of the US Army (AUSA) representing General Carter Ham, President
Major General Julie Bentz
Major General Daniel Wright, President of the Army and Navy Club
Brigadier General Alexandre d’Andoque, Directeur du Musee de L’Armee aux Invalides and his wife, Constance
Brigadier General Jean-Pierre Montagu, Chef de la Mission Militaire, Ambassade De France a Washington
Colonel Francois Villaumey, Adjoint du Directeur de l’Ecole de Guerre a Paris (representing Amiral Loic Finaz, Director of the Ecole Militaire in Paris)
And, Ms. Tammy Call, Director, US National Army Museum
I founded TFA as a private non-operating, grant making, US foundation with a clear Mission: To Honor and Enhance the French-American Strategic Alliance.
Our grants are directed to support our bilateral military alliance in 2 areas:
1. To commemorate events and milestones that honor the history of our alliance;
2. To support confidence-building and cooperation through bilateral educational initiatives for our current and future military leaders.
The French American strategic alliance has been called “uneasy” or “difficult”. As ALL alliances, those words are probably very accurate. But throughout America’s history—from the alliance that won our American war for independence—the French American military alliance has never been broken. Our alliance has endured and is more relevant than ever in today’s world.
Just tonight in France a terrorist attacked innocent people at the Marche de Noel/the Christmas Market in Strasbourg killing or wounding at least 12 people. WE STAND united—the US with France- in the Global War vs Terrorism.
TFA is awarding our first grants in 2018-2019 in the US and France for initiatives to commemorate the 75th anniversary of our WW II military alliance that liberated Paris on August 25, 1944 and the military divisions that fought together. Most people don’t know that Paris was a military battlefield( un champs de battaille) for nearly 2 weeks—as the Allied forces fought their way across Normandy.
We will pay special tribute to the two alliance leaders who forged a bond on the battlefield that continued through their personal lives and presidencies-Supreme Allied Commander US General Dwight Eisenhower and Free France’s leader General Charles de Gaulle.
Our initial US grant partners for 2019 are: Friends of the National WW II Memorial Foundation, the Eisenhower Foundation (for the Eisenhower Presidential Library), the Normandy Institute (NI) and we are giving a grant to the National WW II Memorial Foundation 2019 Hayden Williams Memorial Lecture on WW II at the National Defense University (NDU). Other grant partners are pending.
Our French grants partners for 2019 are: Le Musee de l’Armee aux Invalides, L’Ecole Militaire, La Fondation Charles de Gaulle, Fondation du Marechal Leclerc , Gouvernour des Invalides, L’Ordre de la Liberation and Association des Ecrivains Combattants.
I am tremendously grateful and humbled by the contributions and commitment of TFA’s board of directors and our Senior Advisory Board—senior retired military leaders (French and American) and accomplished private sector officials who are giving their time, expertise and insights to translate this vision and mission plan so rapidly into real operations.
I’d like to introduce 3 of our Board of Directors: Dr. Richard Sandor, Lt General Olivier Tramond (who leads TFA’s Strategic Affairs) and Mr. Richard Kamenitzer, our Secretary Treasurer. Our fourth director, Mr Lawrence Goodman is in Paris today on business.
TFA’s Senior Advisors are a prominent leaders and a very formidable team. All are here--LT Gen Mick Kicklighter, Lt Gen David Huntoon, VAdm Scott Van Buskirk, Ms. Susan Eisenhower and Mr Tony Culley-Foster. Without you, our initiatives wouldn’t be possible.
My thanks go out to many more…friends who have offered ideas, introductions and moral support.
And to US and French officials. We have been greeted with enthusiastic support for TFA’s vision during meetings with potential partners, the military services and senior government officials, and during visits to both the Embassy of France here in Washington and the US Embassy in Paris. We appreciate your valuable insights and interest in our common mission.
I will give the floor now to Lt General Olivier Tramond, who has played a unique role in creating and guiding TFA…..Olivier.
As we begin the history of The First Alliance in 2018, we are truly grateful that you have taken the time, in the words of the great US statesman, Dean Acheson, to be “present at the creation”. We look forward to being partners on this journey together, to advance a shared mission. Thank you ALL.
I’d like to ask for a moment of silence for us to stand in solidarity/solidarite with the nation of France, the city of Strasbourg and the families of those killed or wounded tonight.
Vive la France. May God Bless the United States of America.
May our French-American military alliance go from strength to strength and endure always.