ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Anniston Army Depot has a decades-long tradition of success and support for the country's warfighters and strategic objectives. I'm humbled to have been blessed with command of this organization.

My family and I are thrilled to have, finally, made it back to Alabama.

There is no place quite like home and, as a native of Mobile, this state is home.

I've been in the Army almost 20 years. I have served in and for a variety of organizations. There is no place like Anniston Army Depot.

From the scope of the installation -- more than 15,000 acres -- to the work performed here, it's incredible to know I'll be part of ANAD for the next two years and a key in shaping the installation's future.

You, the depot's workforce, touch much of what our Soldiers need each day to protect them and help them win the fight.

From the machine guns each Soldier carries to crew weapons, tanks, Stryker vehicles, bridges and recovery vehicles, much of America's fighting equipment comes from your hands.

As a Soldier who has been deployed numerous times, thank you for what you have done for me, personally, for my fellow Soldiers, for our allies and for our joint servicemembers.

ANAD is currently in a time of growth -- as the weapons systems we overhaul increase in number, our workforce increases as well. In just the last year, the installation has grown from approximately 2,600 employees to more than 3,000.

Each of you are an important part of this depot and are important to our mission of ensuring Army readiness.

Readiness determines our ability to fight and win our nation's wars; it is the capability of our forces to conduct the full range of military operations to defeat all enemies regardless of the threats they pose.

Every day you come to work, turn a wrench, deliver a part, test a component or support our production operations in any way, you support that readiness -- that ability to fight and win.

In a little more than a week, the long Labor Day weekend will be upon us.

I know many of you have plans -- vacations to celebrate the end of summer, time with family and friends, the first football games of the college season. As you enjoy your time off, remember to celebrate this time safely.

If you travel, rest well beforehand and don't drive distracted.

If you drink, do so responsibly and ensure you have a designated driver.

Your work here on the depot is important and I ask you to stay engaged on and off duty.

From my family to yours -- have a great Labor Day weekend!