Secretary General Stoltenberg, excellences, Chiefs of Defence, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Chairman of the Military Committee, fellow general officers, senior enlisted leaders, friends and distinguished guests, thank you all for coming here today.
Your presence does us honour but more; your presence illustrates the unity of this alliance, the greatest alliance in the history of mankind. It is a representation of the bonds that hold us together, so I thank you all for being here today.
To the Secretary General and to the members of the North Atlantic Council, thank you for the trust and the confidence you have placed in me with this appointment. We will not let you down.
To my family, thank you for being here with us today to share in this special event on this special day, the fourth of July, the independence day of my country.
To my colleagues from across the Alliance with whom we've worked so closely over the past four years; I thank you for being here but more I thank you for our professional relationships and your friendship and your comradeship this brings richness to my life and to my experience in the military.
I know we will go farther together, we have been together, we are together now facing the grave challenges on this continent and we will march together into a beautiful future of peace and prosperity for all of us.
Thank you for being here today. God bless you all.