source: General Staff of the Army

Change at the Army Summit, Lieutenant General Serino takes over from Farina.

Lieutenant General Serino: "We are the Citizens' Army, the Italian Army"

​Today, the Lieutenant General Pietro Serino takes the baton from the Lieutenant General Salvatore Farina as the new Chief of Staff of the Italian Army. The handover ceremony was held in the Courtyard of Honor of “Palazzo Esercito” in full compliance with current regulations for the contrast and containment of Covid-19.

Before the ceremony, the homage to the sacellum of the Unknown Soldier with the deposition of a laurel wreath at the “Altare della Patria” in memory of all the fallen of wars.

The passage of the Army War Flag between the Lieutenant General Pietro Serino and the Lieutenant General Salvatore Farina has officially endorsed the turnover of the Chief of the Italian Army at the presence of Minister of Defence, Congressman Lorenzo Guerini, the President of the Fourth Standing Committee (Defence) in the Senate, Senator Roberta Pinotti, President of the Fourth Standing Committee (Defence) in the Chamber, Congressman Gianluca Rizzo, Chief of Defence Staff, General Enzo Vecciarelli and many others Military, civil and religious authorities.

After thanking all the defendants, with a special thanks to Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence Staff, the Lieutenant General Salvatore Farina addressed his thoughts to all women and men of the Army: “It’s only thanks to you, Commanders, non-commissioned officers, graduates, troop volunteers and civilian personnel, if the Army is able to fully fulfill the many tasks assigned. You are the undisputed protagonists. Tasks that are carried out despite the Covid-19 pandemic, where the Italian Army - together with other Armed Forces and Institutions of the country – has always been ready, relevant and capable and for this, I am truly grateful to all women and men of the Army who are always committed to the service of the country and of our fellow citizens with the people and among the people, at home and abroad. Thank you so much! During these years I have seen a healthy, capable and ready institution which has consolidated from day to day the three fundamental pillars, the backbone of the Army: continuity in values and traditions, cohesion and change. When the opportunity comes to meet you tomorrow I’ll be glad to hear you say "We are always there". I will answer: "more, together!"

The Liutenant General Pietro Serino, coming from the Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, addressed a first thought to the War Flag of the Army, guardian of the Values that have always guided the members of the Armed Force, to the fallen and wounded comrades in the performance of duty. “I am about to face this mandate aware of the commitment that it involves and convinced supporter of the role that the Army must play within a system that is operationally and structurally integrated and cohesive which is the only effective response to the complex challenges that the country is facing today and above all tomorrow”. Thanking to Lieutenant General Farina for what he has done in the past 3 years at the helm of the Italian Army he addressed him with these words: “It’s not the first time, dear Salvatore, I’ve taken your inheritance and I know well the value of your work, your commitment and your dedication. We, men and women of the Army, has ended the new Chief of Staff, “we are and must feel that we are the symbol and substance of our Democracy. We are the Citizens' Army, the Italian Army".

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Enzo Vecciarelli, thanking the Lieutenant General Salvatore Farina for his precious collaboration based on the constant search for synergies and collaborations with an enforced, he has emphasized: “The Army, working alongside the other Armed Forces, has made available to the national health system its excellences, its organizational capacity, its structures, know-how and professionalism”. Addressing his thoughts to Lieutenant General Serino, the Chief of Defence Staff has stressed the sensitivity of the position taken in a period full of challenges in which “the country needs professionalism, dedication and sense of duty that distinguish the Army and the Armed Forces”.

The Minister of Defence, Lorenzo Guerini has said: “It is a great honour for me to preside over this change at the summit of an institution which, together with the other components of the Dicastery, represents a real pillar in the architecture of national defence, as well as a very important component of the contribution that our country guarantees international security, in the framework of the missions that see us engaged abroad". Addressing to the Lieutenant General Farina the Minister added: “At the head of the Armed Force you lived, together with your women and men, intense years, of profound changes, of far-sighted choices, in step with the times, which he has always done with genuine and sincere dedication, intelligence and sense of duty, to serve the country, inspired by the principles of transparency and openness to cross-compliance integration in order to implement the transformation process of the Terrestrial Military Instrument. Choices that have allowed the Army to confirm itself as a valuable resource for the Defence, fundamental for the security of the country and for the contribution to international stability. I am convinced”, concluded Guerini, “that Lieutenant General Serino, to whom I wish to address myself, will be able to continue on the traced way, projecting the Army towards greater success and satisfaction. You take over the Army today in a historical period where, as we know, profound changes have developed in our society and in the international scenarios, in which it is necessary to confront with new challenges and emerging risks. A context marked, at the same time, by important achievements in the direction of increasing cooperation between States, both within the Union and within NATO in which our country is conquered a position of absolute centrality and credibility”.

The Army is today engaged on several fronts: that of the health emergency, in which he actively supported the National Health Service, providing facilities such as the Military Polyclinic ''Celio", the Military Hospital Center of Milan, field hospitals, labs, healthcare task forces, the many Drive Through, deployed as part of Operation “Igea”; that of safety, where the device of the operation "Strade Sicure" which has assisted the implementation and control of pandemic containment measures, has further grown, reaching almost 8,000 units; that of operations beyond national borders, where there are about 4,000 soldiers deployed in 15 different countries such as, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Somalia and Mali with tasks ranging from development cooperation and support for stabilisation and reconstruction processes, until local security forces are trained.

A commitment to 360 º that of the Army that represents the clear confirmation of a ready, capable and cohesive institution that over the centuries, always with high dedication and enthusiasm has worked for Defense, Security, and the good of the whole country.