NOTE: The following email was sent to senior Army leaders from a Warfighter deployed to Iraq. The individual's name and references to specific units have been edited because the message was intended for the Chief of Staff and Sergeant Major of the Army, not for public dissemination. The Chief of Staff of The Army wants to share this message with the Army and the public because it exemplifies the spirit that makes all our Soldiers Warfighters.

-----Original Message-----
From: A Warfighter
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 1:17 AM
To: Schoomaker, Peter J GEN CSA
Cc: Tilley, Jack L SMA
Subject: Who is The Warfighter?

    I was prompted to write to you by something that our Division CSM (Command Sergeant Major) said at our Combat Patch Ceremony for the DISCOM (Division Support Command). We had the ceremony in coincidence with our division’s birthday. He expressed his and the Division Commander's heartfelt pride and deep gratitude for all hard work and effort that DISCOM Soldiers have done to support and enable the Warfighter to perform his mission. This statement, though I am absolutely sure was sincere, gave me pause. I appreciate and applaud the Army's renewed focus and reassessment of priorities to more effectively serve our great Nation in time of War.

    Each and every one of my Soldiers is more than simply a logistician, a computer systems analyst, or a mechanic. Each one of my Soldiers does more than simply provide support and resources to enable other Warfighters to perform their operational commitments. Each one of my Soldiers is a Warfighter. Every Soldier in Iraq serving to liberate and guarantee a future of freedom and prosperity for the Iraqi people shares the title and honor of Warfighter. Support personnel facing the danger of cowardly improvised explosive devices and small arms fire as they move all classes of supply on the battlefield, tired and cold Soldiers standing watch on observation point guard, cooks and mechanics huddled in shelters as mortars fall on forward operations bases all over Iraq all face a deadly and determined adversary; all are equally committed to acquit themselves with bravery and honor as they serve the Nation they love. The Warfighter is not a member of an exclusive club, attainable by the few, served by the many.

    The Warfighter is all of us, each committed to our mutual success, each ready and eager to fulfill that role which those charged with the sacred responsibility of leadership ask us to perform. I would ask of you to remember that the asymmetric battlefield expands the scope and role of Combat Service Support personnel who now find themselves performing double duty as a Warfighter and trained specialist supporting operational commitments. I would ask that you remind us all that we are riflemen and Soldiers first and foremost. I would ask that you encourage and challenge the Army to recognize that each of us are "the Warfighter."

Very respectfully yours,
A Warfighter