President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he'd tell his daughters to sign up if they asked his advice on joining the military.
"I'd say 'Go for it," Obama told a CNN town hall meeting of troops, veterans and military families at Fort Lee, Virginia. "So if Malia and Sasha decided that was an avenue they wanted to take, I'd be proud of them," Obama said, while admitting that he'd be "nervous."
"I cannot tell you how incredibly proud I am of our military as an institution," Obama said. "The reason is the quality of the people who are serving now" in the all-volunteer force, he said. They take on responsibilities "that their peers who are still going to keg parties can't imagine," he said.
Earlier, in separate remarks to troops at Fort Lee, Obama said that in his two terms as president there has been "no greater privilege, no greater honor than serving as commander-in-chief of the finest fighting force in the history of the world. We've got the strongest military because we've got the best people. You've earned your place among the greatest of generations," he told the troops.
Obama said that he and First Lady Michelle Obama would maintain their commitment to serving troops veterans and military families when they leave office.
Obama cited the "Joining Forces" initiative begun by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, which involves corporations in expanding job opportunities for veterans and ensuring that "you and your families are getting the education and benefits you've earned. I pledge to continue that even after we leave office," he said.
--Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.