Fort Drum
Jefferson, New York

2:48 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  At ease.

Members of the Joint Chiefs, leadership of our armed forces, distinguished members of Congress, and all who wear the uniform of the United States, especially the storied 10th Mountain Division —

AUDIENCE:  Hooah!  (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — it’s a great honor to be here today with all of you as our President, with the strong support of Congress, will take decisive action to make the strongest military in the history of the world stronger still.  (Applause.)

All of you have chosen to be part of something larger than yourselves.  You’ve chosen to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  And let me assure you: You have a champion in the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.  (Applause.)  It’s true.

This President has no higher priority than the safety and security of the American people.  And from the very earliest days of our administration, your Commander-in-Chief has been fulfilling his solemn oath to provide for the common defense.  And President Donald Trump always puts our armed forces and your families first.  (Applause.)

I’ve seen it firsthand.  On our very first day in office, I witnessed President Trump protect our military from a government-wide hiring freeze.  And in May of last year, he signed the largest increase in military spending in nearly a decade.

And with the leadership and support of this Commander-in-Chief, our armed forces have taken the fight to the terrorists of ISIS, on our terms, on their soil.  Their caliphate has crumbled, and soon we will erase ISIS from the face of the Earth!  (Applause.)

And last August, our President laid out our South Asia Strategy to give our warfighters in Afghanistan, in his words, “the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and…win.”

This President has also secured commitments around the world from our allies, commitments from our NATO Allies in particular, to pay more for our common defense than ever before.

And President Trump has articulated a vision to ensure continued American dominance in land, sea, air, and space.

AUDIENCE:  Hooah!  (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And last fall, our President led negotiations with both parties of Congress, and President Trump signed into law the largest increase in our national defense in a generation.  Under President Donald Trump, the days of arbitrary budget cuts to our national defense are over.  (Applause.)

And finally, in June of this year, while our President engaged in historic negotiations with North Korea, he had our missing fallen on his heart.  And as the nation witnessed just a few short weeks ago, thanks to the leadership and compassion of this Commander-in-Chief, our boys are finally coming home.  (Applause.)

By signing this legislation today, President Trump is keeping his promise to the American people to rebuild our military, restore the arsenal of democracy, and once again give you — our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard — the resources and training you need to accomplish your mission and come home safe.

The Armed Forces of the United States of America are the world’s greatest force for good.  And you can be assured: President Donald Trump and our entire administration will never stop fighting for you, who fight to defend this nation, past, present, and future.  (Applause.)

So now it is my high honor and distinct privilege to introduce to you your Commander-in-Chief and a true champion of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the 45th President of the United States, President Donald Trump!  (Applause.)

END

2:53 P.M. EDT