Two-hundred and thirty-eight years ago, our Nation's leaders established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country and her citizens. America's greatest generations are built on the strength of America's strongest citizens -- U.S. Soldiers. Today, we celebrate the continued honor, loyalty and bravery of our Soldiers in this noble calling.

As we celebrate our Army's birthday, we are reminded of our Active and Reserve Component Soldiers still serving in Afghanistan, we're reminded of our National Guard Soldiers conducting operations in support of our homeland and we're reminded of our Veterans past and present who served under the same flag.

As we celebrate with the American public, the Army emphasizes key campaigns focusing on a Ready and Resilient force, Soldier for Life, and The Army Profession to communicate our ongoing efforts to service to the nation and enable future strength.

The Ready and Resilient campaign leverages lessons learned over the last 12 years of war and incorporates resilience in an effort to improve individual, family and unit readiness. This will shape the way the Army recruits, trains, cares for and transitions its Soldiers and Civilians, while supporting Families. Ready and Resilient provides unity of effort across the Total Army to refine policies, prioritizes resources, effectively synchronizes and optimizes programs and services, focus training, and strengthen the Army Profession.

The Soldier for Life mindset is a holistic approach to the military life cycle career of a Soldier. The U.S. Army takes care of teammates by ensuring Soldiers start strong, serve strong, and reintegrate strong so they remain Army Strong serving their communities after they leave the Army. The U.S. Army's strategic imperative of sustaining the All-Volunteer Army is directly affected by how well the Veterans reintegrate back into the communities.

The Army is committed to ensuring lifelong success for our Soldiers and their families by connecting them with opportunities for employment, education and healthcare post military service. The Army continuously refines its Army Career and Alumni Program that provides Soldiers a host of transition services, counsel, and training onsite and online.

During Calendar Year 2013, the United States Army launched the "America's Army -- Our Profession" program to enhance the education and training of Army professionals. This will prepare Army leaders to be regionally engaged and globally responsible. This program will generate an inspirational and aspirational dialog for Soldiers and civilians to reaffirm their understanding of themselves as professionals, recommit to a culture of service, and serve in accordance with the Army Ethic and culture. The Army Profession--where Military Expertise, Honorable Service, Esprit de Corps and Stewardship are all built on a foundation of Trust--strengthens the force through periods of transition, reinforces our identity, and provides the critical foundation for the Army of 2020.

The Nation's freedom rests in the hands of our Soldiers, Families and Civilians who defend "The Stars and Stripes." Their dedication makes them the strength of our Army. The strength of our Nation is our Army, the strength of our Army is our Soldiers, the strength of our Soldiers is our Families, this is what makes us Army Strong.

Our Army celebrates over two centuries of defending freedom, our flag and democracy around the world. To all those who serve both at home and abroad, to their families who continue to endure, and to the civilians who support them, "Happy 238th Birthday."

The Army will celebrate its 238th birthday from Armed Forces Day (May 18) through to Independence Day (July 4).