FORT BENNING, Ga., (June 12, 2013) -- Birthdays are a time to pause and reflect on years past and consider challenges and opportunities for the years ahead. Today, we pause to reflect on the birth of our Army 238 years ago, to celebrate the deep commitment, abiding patriotism and indomitable spirit passed from the Continental Army to today's ready and resilient Soldiers who continue to stand in defense of our nation's flag and all that it flies for: equality, opportunity and freedom.

Today's Soldiers -- like those American troops who fought in the battles at Lexington and Concord and stormed the beaches of Omaha, whose courage carried them through Ia Drang to the Korengal Valley -- stand ready to complete any mission our country asks of them. The 187 streamers that adorn our Army colors represent the 187 campaigns through which our warriors have sweat and sacrificed. As formations around the globe commemorate this historic week in our Army's history, let us remember all those Soldiers who have gone before us and those who have given their last full measure of devotion in honor of all that we hold dear. Indeed, when our nation has called, the United States Army has answered.

The long tradition of service and sacrifice of our Soldiers is matched only by our civilians and Families. With some 170,000 Soldiers forward stationed and deployed in nearly 160 countries worldwide at any given time, we rely heavily on the enduring support of our civilians and Families who remain a significant strength of our all-volunteer force. We thank our Families for remaining a source of strength and resilience, and we thank our civilians for their steadfast dedication to mission. We thank our Soldiers and veterans, who are Soldiers for life, for their remarkable determination to defend our nation with unwavering resolve that is truly inspiring. Your selfless service to the nation is what keeps us Army Strong. Happy birthday!

John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno
Army chief of staff

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler
Sergeant Major of the Army

Page last updated Thu June 13th, 2013 at 11:57