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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen speaks to about 400 Marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers assigned to Task Force 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix. The admiral traveled here to personally thank the service members for their wartime service, highlighting his visit by answering questions and handing out hundreds of his signature coins. He also took the time to officially promote Maj. Rory L. Nichols, the task force’s operations officer, to his present rank. Adm. Mullen serves as the principal military advisor to the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council. He was sworn in as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2007. A Los Angeles native, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. TF 2/7 is currently deployed throughout the Helmand and Farah provinces to train, mentor and advise the Afghan National Police.

Photo by Cpl. Ray Lewis

Marines on ‘leading edge’ of change in Afghanistan

11 Jul 2008 | Cpl. Ray Lewis

"You are on the leading edge of positive change in Afghanistan," said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen during his recent visit with Marines serving in Afghanistan.

The admiral, who spoke to about 400 Marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers assigned to Task Force 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Combined Joint Task Force, personally thanked the service members for their wartime service.

After briefly explaining some of the issues confronted by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, the admiral held a question and answer session at the flagpole in front of the camp’s entrance. After taking a moment to officially promote Maj. Rory L. Nichols, the task force’s operations officer, to his present rank, the admiral then handed out hundreds of his signature coins to the delight of the troops in attendance.

Mullen serves as the principal military advisor to the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council. He was sworn in as the 17th chairman of the joint chiefs of staff on Oct. 1, 2007. A Los Angeles native, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968.

Before departing the area, Mullen commended the task force on what it has accomplished in only a few months. Although he acknowledged that the mission to train, mentor and advise the Afghanistan National Police is a "different mission" for Marines, he also noted the significance of their efforts to aid in bringing peace and prosperity to the Afghan people.

The task force, which deployed here in early April, is currently operating throughout the Helmand and Farah provinces of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.