Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the driving forces behind the American Civil Rights Movement and remains an iconic figure in the world today as evidenced by the recent dedication of his monument so prominently displayed in our Nation's Capital. To celebrate his birth, life and dream, federal offices, schools and banks across America will close to honor his teachings of nonviolence and equal rights. Over the years, this federal holiday has transformed into a national day of community service in which Americans come together and work to help one another.
As we celebrate the various holidays throughout the year, let us remember that this holiday symbolizes our Nation's and Army's commitment to a society based on the principles of freedom, justice and equality for all people. As our Army works to achieve our vision for diversity to be the national leader in embracing the strengths of diverse people in an inclusive environment, let us also lift up our fellow human beings both at home and around the world to honor Dr. King's memory and reaffirm our common humanity.
We ask our entire Army Family to use this occasion as an opportunity to engage in community activities to help others in need as we encourage Army units and agencies to plan and execute appropriate commemorative activities to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.
(The Army's senior leadership, including Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, and Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, signed the attached message regarding the Martin Luther King Day recognition, Jan. 16.)
MLK Tri-signed letter [PDF]