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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — As our nation recently celebrated its 245th birthday, and our Army — older than our nation — turned 246 years old, we reflect on our history and are proud to be a part of the best-trained, most disciplined and most respected institution in the world.

Our People make us great. From enlistment and accessions to separation, the Army takes care of and develops People. Leaders at all levels must inspire a positive, welcoming climate where teams are cohesive and collaborative, and where individuals never leave another behind. Leaders must be present in their areas of responsibility to ensure good order and discipline. To accomplish our mission, we will treat every person with dignity and respect and will live by the five characteristics of the Army profession.

Trust is the foundation of our profession. The American public believes that its Army will act ethically, effectively and efficiently in order to protect the nation and its interests. Soldiers and Army civilians trust their superiors, subordinates and peers to be competent and reliable. To build trust and ensure mission success, we must embrace the diversity within our units and be inclusive of every person.

Stewardship reminds us to respect the trust and to develop the next generation of leaders. We meet this responsibility by holding each other accountable. If you notice a violation of our professional standards, take the opportunity to respectfully correct it. If on the receiving end of a correction, respond with “thank you,” and fix the issue.

Honorable service refers to the oaths of enlistment or office that all Soldiers and civilians swear. Army professionals protect and defend the people of the United States, an exclusive responsibility. To gain perspective and to generate trust, tell your story and listen and learn about why those in your formations serve. Share their stories with the American public to inspire the next generation of Soldiers to join our ranks.

Military expertise is the expectation that all Soldiers and Army civilians become masters of their craft. In addition to being caring leaders of character, competence — in leader development, ethics, cultural and technical areas — is a watchword. Engineer, CBRN, and Military Police Soldiers are essential in granting our maneuver units freedom of movement on the battlefield. The Army cannot succeed without the critical skills and capabilities developed at Fort Leonard Wood in initial entry training and in professional military education.

Esprit de corps encapsulates the winning mentality of our Army. This spirit seeks to unify us into a cohesive unit. Our units display esprit de corps by respecting traditions, maintaining discipline and fostering a team-centric environment. Winning matters, and units that foster esprit de corps understand that. They will never quit in the face of adversity, and will stand by each other during the toughest missions.

Achieving these five characteristics as individuals and teams will ensure we are able to fight and win on any battlefield. To learn more about the Army Profession, visit the Center for the Army Profession and Leadership website. Visit the Army Leader Exchange portal for additional resources.