The upcoming season offers a variety of opportunities to celebrate holidays, honor traditions, and spend time with Family and friends. It is a time that exemplifies the diversity of our Nation and the values that we all work to support and are sworn to uphold. I encourage all to use this as a time of reflection on a year of tireless execution of our missions, all too numerous to mention, and as a time of renewal and hope for success, health, and happiness in the new year.

As you prepare for those activities and some well-deserved time off, I ask each of you to remember your fellow Servicemembers and Civilians and express your appreciation for their hard work and commitment by inquiring about their holiday plans. Travel and recreation, whether on-duty or off, require proper planning and vigilance, especially during the holidays and winter months. Tools to assist you with identifying hazards and mitigating risk associated with your own, your Family members', and your co-workers' activities are available on the USAMDW website:

As we look forward to this special time of year and look back on another year gone by, I want to extend my sincere thanks for your efforts and support of our important missions. To continue our success in 2016, we need everyone to return safely.

I wish each of you a safe and happy holiday season.