Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun resumed his official visit to the United States of America this past week. In the frame of the visit, the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington staged a ceremony in honor of the Armed Forces Commander who had followed a training session in the field of fighting terrorism in 2009.
The ceremony was attended by University President Fritz Roegge and the Dean of CISA faculty Charles Cushman where General Aoun had followed his studies in addition to students who are presently following their studies in the university and descending from more than fifty countries among whom Lebanese officers. The ceremony was additionally attended by Lebanese Defense Attaché in Washington Brigadier General Ghassan Chahine and his assistant Brigadier General Edmond Homsi as well as the military delegation accompanying General Aoun.
A Special reception was held in honor of General Aoun and was initiated with a meeting that joined him to the University President and its professors. The official ceremony started afterwards when Dr. Jack Godwin introduced General Aoun by reading parts of his resume since he joined the Lebanese Army until the day of his appointment at the helm of the Lebanese Army Command. General Fritz Roegge delivered a speech in his turn where he welcomed General Aoun, praised the distinguished services that he rendered to his country and considered that he represents an example for the university students who assumed commanding posts in their countries.
Roegge confirmed that the University plays the additional role of contributing to promote world peace and stability by welcoming civilian and military students from around the world. Dr. Cushman commended in his speech the personal qualities of General Aoun and his distinguished ability to understand and analyze international crises while he noted that he sets a true example for Commanders who truly deserve to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Following the speeches, General Aoun expressed his appreciation to the University for organizing the honoring ceremony and said that on the personal level this university has had a deep impact over him in terms of broadening his strategic military culture particularly in fighting terrorism.
General Aoun voiced his deepest sentiments of appreciation and gratitude to the United States authorities for the continuous support provided to the Lebanese Army and for the qualitative military support offered to the Army, particularly the qualitative military assistance delivered during the past few years which had a deep impact in reinforcing the Lebanese Army’s efforts in its fight against terrorism leading to the “Dawn of the Outskirts” battle in the past month of August which ended after defeating the terrorist organization “ISIS” at the eastern border and driving its militants out of Lebanese territories.
General Aoun also raised the issue of founding a national defense university in Lebanon and hoped that NDU can contribute in this regard, considering the importance of such a step in developing the Army’s military expertise and added that this will be one of the first priorities that he will be working on achieving during the coming years.
In conclusion, General Roegge and General Aoun unveiled the image of the Armed Forces Commander which will be posted in the hall dedicated to all those who graduated from the University and assumed commanding posts in their countries.