08.01.08

On The Retirement Of General Richard A. Cody

Mr. LEAHY. I rise to commend GEN Richard A. Cody, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, on his retirement. General Cody is one of the Nation's finest military officers, and, with a career that spans over 36 years in the Army, he leaves behind a stronger, more experienced, and more professional fighting force. Vermont is proud to call General Cody a native, and there is little doubt that his time growing up in our State capital, Montpelier, instilled in him a deep sense of loyalty and public service. 

From the day of his commissioning to his last formal day in the service, General Cody made an indelible mark as an aviator, not just as an officer who could wield an Apache or Blackhawk with impressive precision and skill, but as a leader who inspired other aviators and maintainers to do their best. He competently led such prestigious and capable aviation units as the 160th Special Operations Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division. In the early stages of the first gulf war, he headed up one of the earliest and strategically critical aerial attacks, paving the way for subsequent air and ground forces. He amassed an impressive 5,000 hours of flight time. 

It was that quality to inspire and to lead through example that elevated General Cody to the higher ranks of the U.S. Army. His service as the Vice Chief of Staff has coincided with ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he has helped the Army restructure and reequip itself for that challenging undertaking. He has always been open about the Army's needs, clearly informing the service's civilian leaders, the media, and Congress about the tools necessary to carry out its missions. He has been involved in some vigorous debates in the Pentagon, out of which emerged sensible approaches to activation and equipping of the Reserves, including the National Guard. He always has in mind his view--built through that experience and knowledge--of what is best for the Army and the country. He is an articulate spokesperson and fierce advocate. 

General Cody has always kept one foot in Vermont where his family has such strong roots, particularly around Montpelier where he was born and raised. Few in the State have not purchased a car at Cody Chevrolet, which is owned and operated by the General's family. He and his lovely wife Vicki have two proud sons, Capt. Clint Cody and Capt. Tyler Cody, both Apache pilots in the Army. His immediate family has had the chance to spend considerable time in the State, experiencing the deep patriotism that runs through the Green Mountains and the Champlain Valley. It was only fitting that Norwich University, the Nation's oldest military academy, recently honored General Cody. 

General Cody has been open about the challenges that the Army faces. His forthright manner is matched only by the quiet energy he brings to tackling problems aggressively. He is the model Army officer, a doer as much as a thinker, a loyalist as much as someone speaking straight. As he retires, I know there are many in the Army, officers and enlisted, who will continue to strive to replicate the path that he blazed with such dynamic energy. I know he will continue to be engaged with the Army, and, for that--and, above all, that incredible 36 years of service--Vermont and the whole United States are grateful.

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