HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Army's 243rd birthday brought together active duty and retired military, Army Civilians and the community at a dinner hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army, Redstone/Huntsville Chapter, June 15 at the Von Braun Center. Service members throughout U.S. history share one common trait, said Gen. Gus Perna, Army Materiel Command commander. "An unbreakable thread binds our Soldiers of the past, present and future: our Army values," he said. The value of selfless service is what led most to join the military, said Perna. "Something inside of us called us to service, something bigger than us as individuals," he said. "It is selfless when you volunteer to do what we do." Reflecting on stories of Soldiers from previous wars through today, Perna highlighted the value of honor, which he said the Army defines as the manner of carrying out, acting and living the values. "These heroes adhered to Army values when it counted most," he said. "They prove the link between Soldiers of the past and those serving today remains strong." With more than a million Soldiers across active duty, Army Reserve and National Guard, Perna said the Army values drive them to "stand tall," protect and defend the Constitution. "It is not a paycheck, the uniform or medals; it is the Army values that are inherent in us that causes us to be a band of brothers, that brings us together on a night like tonight -- a night to celebrate the birthday of the greatest Army the world has ever seen," he said. "You are a part of it; you have supported it."