On the occasion of this 25th Anniversary of the Best Ranger Competition, let me congratulate all the participants and thank those who make this event possible.

One of my distinguished predecessors, Army Chief of Staff Creighton Abrams, developed the idea of reforming the first post-World War II battalion-sized Ranger units.

In 1974, he directed the formation of the 1st and 2nd Battalions (Ranger), 75th Infantry, selected their missions, and picked the first officers. In fact, Rangers were often referred to as "Abrams' Own."

In addition to their operational importance, Gen. Abrams felt that as the Army battled back from the hollow force days of the Vietnam era, Rangers would set the standard and improve the quality of the entire Army.

He was right. Ranger units and training set the standard, and today's Army is, as a result, the best in the world.

We have been at war for almost seven years, fighting for our freedom, our security and our future as a nation. We have made hard sacrifices, and there will be more.

Faced with such a long and difficult struggle, it is useful to remind ourselves that the Army exists to field forces for victory. We are in this war to win. We have fought this way since 1775 and always will.

Ranger units and training continue to lead as we sustain and prepare the force for today's fight and the future.

I am pleased that events like the Best Ranger Competition provide us the opportunity to recognize the importance of Army Rangers and the fact "Rangers Lead the Way."

Army Strong!

Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

United States Army

Chief of Staff