Remarks by Anne S. Ferro
National Transportation Center Academy Graduation
San Marcos, TX
September 2, 2010
I'm thrilled to share this most wonderful occasion with you and your families. I'm honored that you've included me in this ceremony marking a new beginning in your careers.
Today belongs to you and we are here to celebrate your achievement. Tomorrow you embark on a career of service to others as inspectors enforcing highway safety laws involving large trucks and buses. It will be a career that calls for physically demanding work and at times it will be isolating. But it has a clear and direct impact on saving lives and that reward makes it all worthwhile.
FMCSA's commitment to safety as our primary mission is predominantly unmatched in any other profession - either inside or outside of government service. We are proud of our safety mission and the steady progress we are making toward achieving our safety goal.
Our mandate is to reduce deaths and injuries as a result of large truck and bus crashes. We want the American people to travel with the confidence that they will reach their destination safely whether they are going to work, a trip home, an errand or delivering a load of shipped goods.
Focus on the Field
With your training behind you - and as you begin new duties; I want you to know that you have my full support.
You are on the front-line of FMCSA's work and at the core of our mission. Along with our state and local partners, you have become the force multiplier that enables us to fulfill our mandate.
I expect you to live up to your personal pledge to do your best and be your best everyday; to use what you have learned here. You, in turn, should expect me and your supervisors to be open to your feedback, thoughts and opinions on how we can help you perform your crucial work.
At Headquarters, my job is to give you the tools, trained supervisors, resources and partnerships to do your job. In return, I ask you to keep your enthusiasm level high and stay above any daily frustrations that may follow.
Every inspection you will do counts. CSA drives that point home. Also, know the CSA program. Drivers will ask.
For this occasion I want to pass along a few words from American writer H. Jackson Brown, Jr., the author of Life's Little Instruction Book:
"I've learned that if you spend your life always looking forward to something else, the present just slips away. I've learned that a shoeshine box made by my young son is my most prized possession. I've learned at age 25 you're finding yourself, at age 45 you know yourself and at age 65 you can be yourself.
I've learned that the only thing you can be sure of improving is yourself. I've learned that when you begin to ask yourself if it's your fault, it usually is.
I've learned that people tend to rise to accomplishments they thought were beyond them if you show by your confidence that they can do it."
These past six weeks have provided the foundation for the journey ahead as safety inspectors. I believe in you. I believe each of you will improve highway safety one driver and one vehicle at a time. The public is counting on you.
Be safe in the discharge of your duties. Get home safe everyday. Good luck in your new assignments. On behalf of Secretary LaHood and President Obama, you have our sincerest thanks and the thanks of the American people for the important work you do.
Thank you again. Congratulations.