Falls Church is fortunate to have a very high ranking official serve as Grand Marshal of The City of Falls Church 27th Annual Memorial Day Parade and Festival presented by Cox, Monday, May 26, and he happens to be a city resident. The Secretary of the United States Army, the Honorable Pete Geren, will serve as Grand Marshal and he says the honor is all his.
“It’s an important day of celebration in the life of our nation,” he shares. “It is fitting that Falls Church should stop and pay tribute. I am honored to be a part of it.”
This is the seventh year that he and his family have attended the Memorial Day festivities in Falls Church.
“I have always enjoyed the Falls Church parade and community involvement — from young people to senior citizens,” he says.
Mr. Geren says that the City of Falls Church does more to honor Memorial Day than most major cities, possibly due to the rich tradition of military service by its citizens, many of whom have paid the ultimate price.
“A high number of Falls Church citizens were killed in our nation’s wars,” he explains. “The city’s celebration has grown from the appreciation of sacrifice from our soldiers.”
The parade will start at 2 p.m. in front of the community center, which features a plaque bearing the names of those who have died in service to their country.
Mr. Geren became the 20th Secretary of the Army on July 16, 2007, following his nomination by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate.
As Secretary he is responsible for all matters pertaining to the Army, including manpower, personnel, reserves, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems, equipment acquisition, communications and financial management. This includes managing a budget of $170 million, and leading the combined work force of more than one million active duty soldiers, Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers. This also includes 230,000 Department of the Army civilian employees and 280,000 contracted service personnel, as well as stewardship of 15 million acres of land.
Prior to serving as Secretary of the Army, he served as 28th Under Secretary of the Army, beginning in February of 2006. He was named Acting Secretary of the Army in March of 2007. Other posts he held include serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, to which he was named in 2001, followed by a position as Acting Secretary of the Air Force in 2005.
Before joining the Department of Defense, Mr. Geren worked as an attorney and businessman in Fort Worth, Texas. From 1989 through 1997, he was a member of the U.S. Congress representing the 12th Congressional District. While in Congress, he served on the Armed Services, Science and Technology Committee and the Public Works and Transportation Committee. He earned a BA from the University of Texas in 1974 and a JD from the University of Texas Law School in 1978.