By Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray OdiernoJune 23, 2014
Thank you everyone for coming out. Our great Senators, our Congressmen, professional staff, Assistant Secretaries, General Officers, friends of the Army, thank you for being here today to celebrate the 239th birthday of the United States Army.
I think there are a few things I want to cover. I think the Army is about those 187 battle streamers that have come down around the flag of the United States Army. I think the Army is about 1.1 million men and women who serve in our Active, Guard and Reserve today with honor and respect around the world. I think about the millions of those who have come before us and served in every conflict since this nation began.
I think about just last week when we were in Normandy. I think about the World War II Veterans, how proud they are, what they represent, and how proud they are of our current Army. I had the opportunity to watch them speak and mix with our current Soldiers. It was amazing to watch that. Once you are a Soldier, you are always a Soldier. It never leaves you.
The Army is about Soldiers. As we stand here today, we have 65,000 Soldiers deployed around the world. We have another 80,000 conducting operations in 150 nations. That is who we are. We are here to defend our Nation. We are here to protect our freedoms. I am incredibly proud that I have the opportunity to represent the men and women and our civilians who do so much every day to protect this nation.
I want to thank everyone for being here today to celebrate this great day and this great birthday. The strength of our Nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. That is what makes us Army Strong. Thank you very much.