To the Soldiers, Civilians, and Families of the U.S. Army,

It has been the greatest honor of our lives to serve alongside you, the Soldiers, Civilians, and Families who make up our Army family. Your profound sense of duty, selfless service, and personal courage have inspired us, guided us, and will continue to motivate us as we leave office.

The highest privilege of leading this great Army has been the opportunity to connect with you, the members of the Army's team. Whether engaging with Soldiers supporting NATO Allies in Europe, observing rigorous training from the jungles of the Pacific to the Arctic of Alaska, or meeting the men and women on the front lines of today's conflicts, we have witnessed and taken pride in what you do every day to keep our nation secure. Administrations change and threats to our nation's interests evolve, but it is your deep commitment to preserving and defending our Constitution that endures. It is your service and sacrifice that safeguard our freedoms and provide opportunities for our people and nation to thrive.

Our greatest hope is that our service has improved your ability to accomplish your missions. We hope that we have provided you with the equipment, technology, and support you need -- and quickly -- so that you can confront rapidly changing threats across the world. We hope we have helped bridge the divide between those who serve and those they protect by sharing the Army story with more of America's communities. We hope we have enabled more Soldiers to make a successful transition to civilian life with our advocacy and the partnerships we helped to forge.

Whether administering the Oath of Enlistment to men and women at recruitment centers or paying our respects to the fallen at Dover as they return home, we will never forget the courage and character that define the American Soldier. We will never forget our responsibility to those who have returned from battle with wounds seen and unseen and our solemn obligation to support them and their families. We will never forget the portrait of America the Army provides, a force encompassing citizens from every faith, ethnicity, and background, who come together to accomplish a common mission and then return to America's communities committed to a lifetime of service.

In many ways, the Army's story is America's story. As our Army confronts threats in cyberspace or outer space and our Soldiers continue securing our homeland and countering dangers beyond our shores, we take great confidence in the Army's future and in our country's future.

Our optimism comes from our confidence in your abilities to fight and win, to adapt and endure, and to attract and develop the best from across our nation -- men and women who, like you, honor the Army's past through their commitment to America's future. We leave office humbled by your example and grateful for your continued devotion.

Secretary Eric Fanning and Under Secretary Patrick Murphy