Graduation Rehearsal
Soldiers rehearse for their basic combat training graduation. After roughly ten weeks of BCT, volunteers become Soldiers through vigorous physical and mental training.

From the beginning, America’s Army existed for the people, for the nation, and for the cause of liberty and justice. Since 1775, our Army has answered the peoples’ call from Bunker Hill to the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Korea and the jungles of Vietnam. Your Army was there then and is now serving our nation in many places around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s Soldiers are adding another chapter to our Army’s proud history and record of accomplishment.

The Army did not earn its tremendous legacy without a strong bond between the military and the American people. Preserving this bond ensures our strength as a nation. Today, we celebrate not only our independence, but our rich past and hope for the future.

The bonds of trust that join us are rooted in our history. Our nation's founders understood the importance of civilian authority and control over their military. They also recognized that such control could not be maintained by force of law alone. To bind the military to the will of the people, they knew they needed to create a special relationship of trust with their armed services.

That is why today, we enjoy a long tradition of support for our forces and our Army. This Fourth of July holiday is a time to reflect on our history and celebrate our 235 years of freedom, democracy, independence, and trust. Our Armed Forces appreciate the support of the American people; and, I pledge that your Army will never stop working to keep the hard earned trust and confidence that has been there for the past 235 years. Have a safe and happy Independence Day.

Victory starts here!

Robert W. Cone
General, U.S. Army

Page last updated Wed June 29th, 2011 at 15:06