The San Francisco 49ers welcomed and honored a special guest at Thursday night’s team meeting: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serves as the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.
The avid sports fan reached out to the team about visiting the facility, to which Jim Harbaugh immediately accepted and asked Dempsey to speak to his players. The players, in turn, responded with a standing ovation before his speech even began.
Dempsey spoke to the 49ers about his unique experiences with our nation’s military, with the intent of putting things into perspective for them as they embark on their mission, winning a Super Bowl in 2012. The talk began with Dempsey informing the players that it was 5 a.m. in Afghanistan at the time of the 49ers meeting. During that time, night forces overseas were ending their duties, while day forces were just beginning to start their responsibilities.
Dempsey later stressed the importance of teamwork and how the most important thing for a team is the development of trust within different parts of a team.
“That’s one of the coolest things about this job,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Justin Smith said. “You get to meet some people like that, some of the most powerful men in the country. It was really cool to meet him and hear what he had to say.”
Dempsey also shared details on a recent visit he made to Washington D.C.’s Arlington National Cemetery along with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team and Duke University’s men’s basketball team. Dempsey remarked how the players were taken back my “Section 60,” a portion of the cemetery where soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest. The young athletes couldn’t help but notice most of the soldiers being under the age of 26.
Dempsey shared the story with the 49ers to reiterate that those young soldiers were lost treasures, who did not have the opportunity to reach their personal goals in life.
Dempsey visited with players after the meeting and later posed for a photo with Coach Jim Harbaugh.
History has always been a big source of inspiration for the 49ers coach. Last season, Harbaugh brought his entire team to Arlington so they could visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier prior to a road game against the Washington Redskins.
Tags: Jim Harbaugh, Justin Smith
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