December 11, 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am of course very honored to be with you tonight for this memorable launching event.
Making and maintaining an Alliance is always a great challenge!
We, soldiers, know how important it is to work on it.
In my own experience, from cadet of our Saint-Cyr Academy embedded in a US paratrooper combat team in Italy (with the future GEN David Petraeus and Carter Ham) to my the South Pacific joint command, operating closely with USPACOM and the 7th Fleet (VADM Scott Van Buskirk in our advisory board), I measure the importance of confidence building.
“The first Alliance Foundation” purposes are both NOBLE & VISIONARY.
NOBLE, because we will honor the memory of our 2 countries soldiers, fighting side by side as strong & confident allies, since the American Revolution through the two world wars of the 20th century, in Korea, Middle East, Lebanon & Kuwait Iraq campaigns, the Balkans, Afghanistan and today from the Iraki- Syrian border to the Sahel strip in Africa.
VISIONARY, because our main issue is to enhance our strategic alliance by connecting - through education programs - some future selected military decision-makers of our two Nations.
The very strong & personal links, during and after WWII, between GEN Dwight Eisenhower and GEN Charles de Gaulle will be a thread to guide our programs.
Our Chair Mrs Brookins, after visiting the Churchill-de Gaulle exhibition of the French War Museum of Paris some years ago, had this revelation that our two Generals and Presidents Eisenhower and de Gaulle are the most illustrative examples of depth, respect and wisdom to lead an Alliance.
In France, “The First Alliance” initiatives and programs are very welcome because it is not often that a private foundation helps or support such programs. Carole has mentioned the involvement of our French partners. The presence tonight of two of our main partners, BG d’Andoque the director of the French War Museum and Colonel Villiaumey deputy director of the French Ecole de guerre, is a great honor.
Our “Brothers in arms team” of the First Alliance Foundation is very active.
So, I am delighted to give the floor to our highly respected colleague, LTG (ret) “Mick” Kicklighter.