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    Tribute to Colonel Richard D. Root

    by Former Senator Carl Levin

    Posted on 2013-12-18

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    LEVIN. Mr. President, our men and women in uniform sacrifice much to keep our Nation strong and free. They are well-trained, extraordinarily capable and are some of our country's best and brightest. One of them is a man I want to help recognize today as he retires from the U.S. Army.

    COL Richard D. Root, from Hartford, MI, has served our country in uniform for a quarter of a century and I am delighted to congratulate him on a long and distinguished military career. In 2007, Colonel Root came to the Senate as the Deputy for the Army's Senate liaison office. He was then selected as the Director of legislative affairs for GEN John Allen, the commander, International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, during the critical period in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013. In this capacity, Colonel Root escorted over 70 congressional delegations visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan. During these congressional delegations, Colonel Root masterfully balanced both the interests of Senators with the priorities of his commander to ensure that Members of Congress received a clear and accurate picture of the strategic military and political situation in Afghanistan.

    Prior to his service with congressional liaison, Colonel Root performed with great distinction in all of his assignments throughout his extraordinary career, including command of the 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment ``Red Knights'' during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 to 2006. Additionally, he served as an executive officer for the 4th Infantry Division Artillery and a variety of other tactical and operational assignments from platoon to brigade while deployed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and for Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield in 1991.

    In his final assignment as the executive officer to the chief of army legislative liaison, Colonel Root worked tirelessly to expand relationships between the Army and the 113th Congress.

    Our military personnel do not shoulder the stress and sacrifice of military service alone, and Colonel Root is no exception. His wife, Diann, and his daughter, Lexi, have stood proudly by his side, sacrificing time with their husband and father while he fulfilled his military commitments. To them also, we offer a truly heartfelt thanks.

    As he retires, Colonel Root leaves behind an impressive record of military service and his counsel, professionalism and expertise will surely be missed by the Army and Congress alike. We offer him our sincere thanks for his service to our Nation and the example he has set for those under his command and colleagues with whom he served. I know my colleagues join me in wishing Colonel Root and his family all the best as they begin this next exciting chapter in their lives.


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