Secretary of the Army
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To the Army Family,

Today I had the great honor of being sworn in as your 23rd Secretary of the Army. Having served previously in the Regular Army, Guard, and Reserves, I know well that people are the Army's greatest asset. I fully understand and acknowledge the sacrifices our Soldiers and Families have given to our great Army; especially during the previous 16 years of sustained combat operations. Thanks to your service, our Army remains the world's premier ground combat force and the bedrock of our Nation's defense. This is why the readiness and welfare of our Soldiers, Civilians, and their Families will always be foremost in my mind, and why I intend to pursue initiatives that will offer the professional opportunities and quality of life all deserve.

As I return to duty, I want you to know that my first priority is Readiness -- ensuring the Total Army is ready to deploy, fight and win across the entire spectrum of conflict, with an immediate focus on preparing for a high-end fight against a near-peer adversary. Improving Readiness is the benchmark for everything we do; it should guide our decision-making.

My second priority is Modernization -- building greater capacity and capabilities in the longer term. This means growing our operational force while maintaining quality, reshaping it to be more robust and successful in all domains, and modernizing it with the best weapons and equipment available to guarantee clear overmatch in future conflicts.

My third priority is Reform -- improving the way we do business, including how we implement these priorities, to make the Total Army more lethal, capable, and efficient. This means changing the organizations, policies, processes, and tasks that consume time, money, or manpower without delivering real value, and applying the savings to our top priorities.

Lastly, I place great importance on a commitment by all -- especially Leaders -- to the Army's Values. This includes treating everyone with respect, collaborating broadly, and always doing the right thing. The Army is at its best when it works and fights as one team, and with the challenges we face ahead, a recommitment to these Values will serve us well.

I will be working hard on all of these priorities, and welcome your ideas on how we can best achieve them. To be successful, we must work together and empower people at all levels to lead, innovate, and make smart decisions.

I look forward to meeting with and hearing from many of you in the months ahead, and am excited about the great things we will accomplish together.

Army Strong!

Related Documents:

Initial message to the force from the 23rd secretary of the Army [PDF]

Related Links:

Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper