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Connecting those who have served in Japan.

Lt Gen Francis Wiercinski underscores the “ichidan” spirit of JUMP for SDF and U.S. service members and their families

Life is all about relationships and respect for one another.

My relationships with the soldiers, families and people of Japan were forged in daily life over the past decade during my U.S. Army Japan service and most recently as the Commander of U.S. Army Pacific. The results of these life-changing experiences with Japan led to a great, enduring respect for the Japanese people and the Self Defense Forces.

That respect was captured by the 2008 creation of our U.S. Army Japan motto, “ichidan,” which means “one team.” In good times, that teamwork was on display as we worked together on the Kanagawa plain or in Miyagi during the Yama-Sakura exercises. It also powerfully manifested itself when tragedy suddenly struck following the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, as we joined the Japan Ground Self Defense Force during the strong, cooperative effort of Operation TOMADACHI.

With ichidan in mind, I intend to continue to nurture those relationships, recall our teamwork together, and recognize the enduring importance of the JUMP program. After all, JUMP is a gathering place where we share our story and do our part in maintaining the U.S.-Japan alliance and the people-to-people relationships between our defense forces and families in the years ahead. It is also an important people-to-people program that continues to help us hold onto our relationships … and to live together as one team!

Lieutenant General (Retired) Francis Wiercinski is the senior vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific region of Cubic Global Defense (CGD). He retired from the U.S. Army in 2013 at the rank of Lieutenant General, after 36 years of service in theaters such as Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. While in the U.S. Army, Lt Gen Wiercinski served as the Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan and Commanding General of U.S. Army, Pacific.

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