This Independence Day, we celebrate our nation's 237th birthday. For the men and women who serve our great country, whether as Soldiers, civilians or family members, this day is more than just the birthday of our nation, it is a day we celebrate freedom.

Freedom is cherished the most by those who defend it. The proud members of today's great Army steadfastly pledge to defend the United States of America, just as those who fought to establish her.

Our nation has prospered because of your unwavering service, commitment, and contribution to the pursuit of liberty and justice. You do not take your duties lightly, because you know the price of freedom all too well.

This Fourth of July, as we reflect on the many things happening in our Army, our country and around the world, I am reminded of John Hancock and the words of advice he had for our founding fathers as they signed the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July 1776:

"We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must hang together."

Those words still ring true today, so I ask all of our great Soldiers, civilians and families to do the same. Stick together as members of our USAREUR team by looking out and caring for one another every day.

As you celebrate our nation's birthday and the freedom that we and those before us have sacrificed so much for, please stay safe and enjoy yourself responsibly.

Thank you for your dedication and selfless service to our Army and our country. May God bless you and may God bless America.

Strong Soldiers, Strong Teams!