Speech given by Gunnar at Col Warren Higgins' retirement from the Army. 26 June 97


General Laws, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, my former colleagues and comrades in arms. It is indeed an honor and a rare privilege to address you on this the occasion of Warren Higgin’s retirement. Except for his lovely wife Lynne, no one has been closer to Warren throughout his 30 year career than me. First, I would like to heartily congratulate Colonel Higgins on the attainment of the objectives for which he has worked so hard. In this connection I might add that a very strange thing happened to me on my way to this luncheon, which reminds me at this point of a story. The disturbing feature of all this is, dispite all the lessons learned, we all know better.


As that great statesman and soldier once said, I need hardly remind this audience, without fear of successful contradiction that we hand down to posterity as a matter of Army policy, a few words about your splendid hospitality and our great nation. We view all this with great alarm, but under and beyond we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Higgins will count on your continued support because, as you well know money must be forthcoming to our way of life.


As the Higgins travel the long road ahead down to the grassroots of America, there are those in TECOM whose voices still cry out in the night. In this worthy cause we must not forsake, but rather, with wisdom and patience recall that there are those who say that tororrow may be too late. And make no mistake about it---in our overall approach no one will dispute this fact---and it is a sobering thought in an era of diminishing resources and lessening unemployment. It is perhaps more than a coincidence, and honest logic in the light of day demands, whether we like it or not, that the Department of Defense and WSMR leadership face up to this serious issue. (applause)


This observation leads us to only one conclusion. Where then shall we turn? In my judgement we do not wish to confuse this important issue. The primary aim has always been to test DOD hardware better. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but there are unmistakable signs, as this chart clearly shows, and I submit to you that in such a view Colonel Higgins is perhaps more to be applauded than condemned, as the Army may one day see!! (applause)


Another and far wiser man has said it much better than I can, for therein lies the common denominator of the great WSMR employees, who will never surrender. Let us then, pause and reflect. It was gratifying to hear Colonel Higgins say in his overall approach, and as a matter of fact it is this very spirit of unselfishness which is beyond preadventure and doubt. Whoever would challenge these words of our senior leadership? I say, let’s look at the record.


Of this we can be assured---as those who have gone before--- and these splended dedicated men and women in this room whose very presence this afternoon testifies. Col Higgins has the right to be proud.(applause)



With heartfelt thanks, and with unyielding determination, as in the immortal words first written into Army Regulations by our illustrious comrades in arms, we hear their hallowed voices, and make this our great common heritage, sealed with blood in the spirit of those dauntless pioneers, and in this great tradition we must--- and we will--- under God! (hoo-ha)


It has been more than a privledge, in fact a burden, to speak to you today. In conclusion let me reiterate once again what words cannot express.


On that note I leave you with this parting thought, which I know will be taken in the spirit in which it is offered, for the die is now cast before Warren Higgin’s retirement and in the court of world opinion.


Thank you all very much.