JTF Guantanamo Welcomes New Commander


07/23/2013: Rear Admiral Richard Butler replacing Rear Admiral John Smith as the Joint Task Force Guantanamo commander in a change of command ceremony held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on July 16, 2013.

“People here are doing a noble job in difficult conditions,” said Butler. “They face legal and public scrutiny for every action and allegation and accept the challenge. Now I have the privilege of being their leader. To the men and women of JTF-GTMO, I hold myself accountable to you also.” 

Butler acknowledged his personal responsibility to the JTF Troopers and promised to uphold the seven Army values: leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage in the fulfillment of his duties as JTF Commander. 

Butler, and his wife, Lana, arrived at GTMO last week, from his previous assignment at the Pentagon. He has toured facilities, received briefings and turnover tutorials to prepare him for his new responsibilities. 

Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of United States Southern Command, outlined those responsibilities during the ceremony. 

“You provide central support to intelligence, legal, medical, security and public affairs operations all within the pressure cooker of intense, international scrutiny,” said Kelly. “Despite all this, you are the essence of professionalism who have made detention operations here at Guantanamo recognized as the model around the world.”

 Credit: Joint Task Force Guantanamo Public Affairs: 07/16/2013

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