General Martin Dempsey, who served as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff explained, “A month ago, a group of musicians from the Army Chorus and I discussed if we could find a way to provide a bit of encouragement to our fellow citizens in these challenging times. Ambitious, but it’s amazing what you can do when you surround yourself with seven Juilliard School-quality musicians.”
The song “America” is the result. It aired May 14, on ABC World News Tonight.
Based on ‘Caledonia’ original music and lyrics by Dougie MacLean
General Dempsey who was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people, retired in October 2015 after 41 years of military service. He now teaches leadership and public policy as a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University and serves as Chairman of USA Basketball. General Dempsey is co-author of the bestselling leadership book Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership and author of the upcoming book: No Time For Spectators: The Lessons That Mattered Most From West Point To The West Wing.
Irish America has been fortune to have General Dempsey share his writing and experience with us. In 2016 he wrote Following My Moral Compass and in 2018 he wrote Lessons on Leadership and Leadership Lessons of Grandma Bridget.
Dempsey was raised in Goshen, New York to a heavily Irish-American family. His grandparents were born in counties Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, and Donegal and he holds a master’s degree in literature from Duke University, where he wrote his thesis on the Irish literary revival. Dempsey also learned conversational Irish from childhood summers spent in Ireland.
General Dempsey was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2016, he is known for his fine singing voice. At his retirement he sang “The Parting Glass.”
At his induction in the Irish America Hall of Fame he sang “The Irish Pub.”