Admiral Rogers Assumption of Command

By Admiral Cecil D. Haney | April 3, 2014

As prepared

Good afternoon!  It’s great to be back…

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, men and women of USCYBER Command and National Security Agency…Thank you for being here to welcome ADM Mike Rogers and his wife Dana, in a ceremony where Mike will assume command and carry the “torch” of USCYBERCOM. 

Dr. Mike Vickers, Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan, Thank you for being here and thank you for your distinguished service.  I especially want to thank Lt Gen Jon Davis and Mr. Rick Ledgett who have held the fort – J literally a fort – since General Alexander’s retirement last week.  And a big thanks to the team who were able to throw this wonderful event together at such short notice, and of course thx to Lt Logan Clark for her singing of the National Anthem.

Mike, it is an honor for me to be here today and it is my privilege to publicly salute you and your wife Dana and welcome you both to the US Strategic Command family.  I am glad our Congress saw fit to confirm you, given the significance of this mission…and before I flew back to Nebraska.

I have known Mike for quite some time, and I appreciate all his support, particularly as the 10th Fleet Commander.  He has a remarkable resume and was chosen because of his tremendous knowledge in signals intelligence and cyber warfare; his vast warfighting experience; and his tremendous leadership. I know he will serve USA well as the Director of NSA and the US CYBERCOM Commander

As I have been making my way around the country to visit the troops, my favorite question for them is “Who’s a Cyber Warrior?”  I might have one or two raise their hand because they have a cyber or communications job, but most take it for granted the vast networks they touch every day, whether on the job or on their “smart” technology.  I know here, I will get most in this audience to raise their hand as a cyber-warrior.  Our national security is stronger due to your efforts.  

Virtually all commerce and communications pass through electronic networks, and as a nation we are extremely dependent on computing, technology, and the World Wide Web.  This includes cell phones, Global Positioning System, government databases, personal banking and credit card scanners.  It was just a couple of months ago when the Target data breach impacted more than 40 million people.  In fact, there is no shortage of headlines that point to intellectual property thefts, identity thefts, and Denial of Service attacks.  You may remember the cyber-attacks on Saudi Aramco.  Just a couple weeks ago, according to press reports, hackers brought down NATO websites in response to tensions in Crimea.  If you think a cyber-attack could devastate our personal lives, imagine the crippling effect such an attack would have on the U.S. economy and our government.  Just ask Sands Casino.

The speed at which an attack can occur plus the growing array of adversaries poses one of the biggest risks to our national security.  Cyber can have strategic effects, and has the ability to target population centers, major infrastructure, our financial sectors, and national power grids.
The global security environment is getting more complex, dynamic and uncertain than at any time in our recent history, as we have recently witnessed by ongoing events in Ukraine and North Korea.  US Strategic Command’s tailored Deterrence and Assurance plan includes providing a safe secure and effective nuclear deterrent force, partnering with other combatant commands, addressing space challenges, building cyberspace capability and capacity and preparing for uncertainty.  This is why building cyberspace capability and capacity is a top priority.  This is why I pledge to work even harder to support USCYBERCOM, and why I am proud of the NSA-CYBERCOM team.

Mike, you are the right man for the job to lead this team of elite professionals.  You are coming in at a time when tensions are high around the world…At a time when we, as a country, must continue to develop cyber capabilities that will challenge even the most sophisticated and elusive threats.  I know you will continue to build upon the outstanding work already being done at the NSA and USCYBERCOM.  I want you to know I have the utmost confidence in you and I look forward to the continued contributions to this critical msn area.

Dana, you took a chance on Mike.  But I am sure 30 years ago the young Lieutenant Junior Grade showed as much promise as he does today.  As I said at Keith Alexander’s retirement, military life is not easy on the family.  I know it involves a lot moves and upheavals in your personal lives.  It requires the same kind of sacrifice we expect of our military members.

I look forward to updates on your son Justin, a Lieutenant Junior Grade on the sub USS CHARLOTTE – it was a pleasure when I got to meet him.  I know he will be kept busy, but I am most envious of his assignment, as I adapt to Nebraska temperatures, after spending the previous two years in Hawaii.  I am told your other son Patrick is a student at New York Fashion Institute of Technology?  I think my bride Bonny will solicit his help in giving me a few “fashion” tips -- she notes the common occurrence of khakis trousers and polo shirt.

So I thank you Dana, and please pass my appreciation to of course Justin and Patrick for your service to our nation throughout the years as a family.  Mike and Dana, also thank your extended family for their patience with regards to the confirmation process as many came from great distances here in anticipation.

Mike, it's your turn to take the reins of US CYBER Command.  You bring exactly the right experience and leadership to this job.  Similar to Gus Malzahn who brought the Auburn “War Eagles” to the National forefront last year --I hear you are an Auburn fan!

In closing, I am sure our leaders here today will agree with me that the capabilities you will provide to not only help safeguard the integrity of our military’s vital information systems, but also significantly improve the way the United States defends itself in the cyber domain would not be possible without the men and women, our true “cyber warriors” who conduct this msn day in and day out. 

I thank you and your families for your service, the contributions you provide our nation, and that 24/7 effort you provide.  Mike, I thank you for you continued leadership.  Our nation is incredibly blessed to have such a talented leader and such a remarkable team in support. 

As best said by President Obama, “America’s economic prosperity, national security and our individual liberties depend on our commitment to securing cyberspace and maintaining an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet.”Thank you all and may God continue to bless our Joint military force and of course, the United States of America.