Deputy Secretary of Defense Speech

Combined Federal Campaign Kick-Off Ceremony


Good morning. It’s a real pleasure for me to be here today to kick-off the new season of giving through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).

Before going on, I’d like to first recognize and thank the great team behind the DoD CFC Campaign. Mike Rhodes, thank you for your leadership. I’d also like to thank Vince Micone, Chair-person of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee, and David Coker of Fisher House for the great work they do on behalf of this campaign and for our people.  

But I also want to thank – in advance – the real engine that makes the CFC go: the volunteers from across the Department who are here today and who lead the grass-roots giving campaign and the thousands of individual DoD contributors you represent. 

You all know I’ve only been in this job for about 4 months. But in the four years I served as Undersecretary of the Navy,. And as leader of the Department fo the Navy’s CFC Campaign, I was continually amazed by the overwhelming generosity of the DoD workforce. Because of that generosity the Department of Defense was – and I think always will be – at the front of the pack in giving across the Federal government. 

Being at the front of the pack in the CFC is a singular achievement. Over the past fifty years, the CFC has raised more than $7 billion to help those in need around the corner, across the nation, and throughout the world. That makes CFC is the largest and most successful workplace fundraising campaign in the world. And DoD is the largest and most successful contributor to the CFC annual campaign. 

Just think of the many lives that were impacted by our donations over the past years, those in need whose hardships are made a little lighter by the helping hand you extend every year.

You know, I have to say that’s probably one of the biggest reasons I love to come to this job every day – because of the great people that I get to work with. And a big part of my love for the DoD family comes from the unbelievable amount of charity and giving that is in their hearts.

Secretary Hagel and I know that there are many in the DoD workforce who have faced an uncertain financial landscape these past few years. We are working hard to bring a little bit of stability and predictability to your lives. But we also know that despite the many challenges, our Departmental military family still manages to give to those who are less fortunate. And the ethos of service that is such a part of your dedication as public employees extends to this worthy cause. 

Now, we are asking you once again to step up. Through the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area, Department employees have the opportunity to donate to more than 4,400 approved local, national, and international charities. While a single donation may seem small to some, collectively, the Department’s end result is impressive. Last year, for example, within the National Capital Region, DoD raised over $10.8 million dollars with an average gift of $620 dollars. 

This year, our total campaign goal is a little higher – $11.3 million dollars. But if the past is any indication, I’m absolutely confident we can reach it. We are going to reach it by reminding our colleagues that their contributions are the vehicle for so much good. We are going to have to work a bit harder, but together we can get there. 

Appropriately then, this year’s theme is “Make it Possible.” How fitting! Every year, our DoD workforce helps “Make It Possible” for the entire CFC Campaign. And because of your kindness we will help “Make It Possible” for a family in need to receive food, clothing, and shelter.
Because of your compassion we will “Make It Possible” for a veteran to receive care beyond what his or her family can provide.

Because of your generosity we will “Make It Possible” for more resources to be devoted to medical research for a host of different diseases or conditions. So please, I ask that we “Make it Happen” once again, and that we all continue to live the deepest values of our Department: Service, Sacrifice, and a duty to others. We can do this together! Let us make 2014 another year of record breaking charitable giving. Thank you.