The British Army has welcomed General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, on a visit to the United Kingdom. The General has been a guest of General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith KCB CBE ADC GEN, Chief of the General Staff, and visited London and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), where he represented Her Majesty the Queen at the Sovereign’s Parade.
General McConville is the 40th Chief of Staff of the US Army and has served with great distinction, having been awarded two Distinguished Service medals, three Legions of Merit, three Bronze Star medals, and two Defense Meritorious Service medals among many others.
He has been Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the Combined Joint Task Force 101 and served as the Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army before taking on his current role.
“I am honoured to represent Her Majesty the Queen today. Being here is a testament to the special relationship of our two nations, a relationship that has only grown stronger after twenty years of serving side by side in combat. When you arrived, you were from different backgrounds and different cultures, but you came together as a team; you forged bonds, you became brothers and sisters, and you overcame adversity together" General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff of the United States Army
On 12th April in London, Major General Chris Ghika CBE, General Officer Commander London District welcomed General McConville to Whitehall where the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards provided a ceremonial Guard of Honour.
The Coldstream Guards, fresh from operational training and just returned from duties in the Middle East, have trained and served alongside our US allies, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On his visit to RMAS on 13th April, he delivered the Kermit Roosevelt Lecture which began in 1947 as a tribute to the son of former US President Theodore Roosevelt.
Kermit had served in both the UK and US armies during the First and Second World Wars and each year a British General will travel to the US to address US Army Forces about our special relationship, and an American General visits the UK to speak to British Troops. General McConville talked about the Future Soldier concept and the importance of putting people first.
This was also echoed in his speech at the Sovereign’s Parade. 134 Officer Cadets, including 28 international Cadets from 18 different countries including Hungary, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States. For each Officer Cadet, who will commission at the stroke of midnight tonight, the parade was the culmination of 44 weeks of intensive training.
To the rousing music of the Band and Bugles of the Rifles, General McConville inspected the front ranks and presented the prize winners including the coveted Sword of Honour for the Officer Cadet judged to be the best of the intake, and the Queen’s Medal who achieved the best overall results in military, academic and practical studies.
The end of the parade is always marked by the Officer Cadets marching into the historic grand entrance of the Old College, followed by the Adjutant on his charger, a tradition that dates back many decades.
Speaking to the assembled Officer Cadets and families, General McConville said, “I am honoured to represent Her Majesty the Queen today. Being here is a testament to the special relationship of our two nations, a relationship that has only grown stronger after twenty years of serving side by side in combat.
"When you arrived, you were from different backgrounds and different cultures, but you came together as a team; you forged bonds, you became brothers and sisters, and you overcame adversity together. I leave you with this advice - put your people first, an Army is our people, and they are our greatest strength.
"In the words of this great institution, ‘Serve to Lead’, treat everyone with dignity and respect, build cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined and fit and that are ready to fight and win.”