Hooah! Great day to be a Soldier; more importantly what a great day to serve Soldiers. Some great Soldiers who are here with us today will extend their term of service in the United States Army. God Bless you as you make this critical next step of your journey.Good Morning and thank you for coming to help us celebrate the 240th Birthday of America's Army.
Secretary McHugh, General Officers, Members of the OSD & Army Staffs, thanks for joining us.Welcome friends and Army Families to the Pentagon and thanks for helping us briefly shine a light on all that our Army represents and all who have served her for the last 240 years.Thanks to the Army Band for that beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and for all that you do for our Army in the National Capital Region and across the Nation…. A round of applause please for this great team.It is an exciting time to be a Soldier in the Greatest Land Force in History. For the last 240 years Our Army has defended the Nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and today we have over 140,000 Soldiers committed in over 150 locations around the globe serving in defense of freedom and democracy.Our Regionally Aligned Force is helping our Combatant Commanders meet emerging demands and to support allied efforts in Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, Iraq, Korea, and across Africa to name but a few. Our commitment to the Pacific endures, with over 80,000 Soldiers deployed, forward stationed, and directly supporting operations from home station.We're transforming to meet the needs of our Nation, and our Army remains the rock of stability in an unpredictable world.Our all Volunteer Force is now 40 years young and stronger and more resilient than ever.
And after 13 plus years of war we remain Strong. The Army continues to attract and retain the Nation's most talented young men and women, and we have a deeper bench of combat seasoned veterans than any time in our nation's history.The Army has been and will continue to be the premier institution for building leaders of character for the Nation.And through our Soldier for Life Program we ensure our Soldiers can achieve their full potential throughout their Army journey . . . and sustain their contributions as they transition into their communities with transferable skills, access to education, and their most vital contribution . . . values-based leadership.Ultimately Our Army is about the people, and we understand that the strength of our Soldiers is our Families.We honor in particular our Gold Star Families, and take this opportunity to thank them for their enduring sacrifice for our Nation. We are all committed to supporting you and remain inspired by your example.God Bless our Wounded Warriors and their supporting Families. We gain strength from your inspiring example of resiliency each and every day.We Honor our fallen by recommitting ourselves to train hard and stay ready for the uncertain future and to defend our Nation and its values . . . as they so nobly served.And we remain committed to building stronger, more resilient Soldiers and Families . . . as America's Army continues to deliver decisive Leadership for the Nation.Happy 240th Birthday, United States Army! God Bless us all!