It has been my honor to serve the Soldiers, civilians and families of the United States Army and my Country as the 19th Secretary of the Army.

The Army is an outstanding team of caring and compassionate professionals who are incredibly dedicated - sacrificing their own safety to provide for the Nation's defense. Today's Soldier consistently has demonstrated excellence on the battlefield, and I applaud each one's unmatched and unparalleled strength.

I am leaving your ranks saddened, yet uplifted to know you will continue to shoulder the load, wherever you place your boots on the ground to preserve the peace and freedom of our great Nation. I led this Army for over two years and accept full responsibility for all that happened during this time, as I promised in my oath of office.

I am proud of what General Schoomaker, Chief of Staff, Army, and I have accomplished over the last two years, especially in beginning to obtain the resources you and our Nation need and deserve; and which set us on the path to becoming a fully ready and relevant Army for whatever the Nation requires. Significant progress has also been made in force and business transformation, modernization, leader development, and the well-being of Soldiers and their families - your well-being has always been my highest priority.

Our Army is strong. It is strong because of your efforts. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to be associated with you, our Nation's greatest treasure - the American Soldier, and to have served you. May God bless you, your families, our Army and the United States of America.

Francis J. Harvey
Secretary of the Army