This week the Army celebrates its service to the nation and our strength for the future. Operating in a dynamic and uncertain environment, we face the simultaneous challenges of completing the missions currently underway as well as optimizing our Army for a broader range of missions for the future. With the support of a grateful Nation, your Soldiers have been able to succeed in many corners of the world under austere circumstances. Our Soldiers and Families sacrifice every day to achieve this end and they are well supported by you, the American people. For that, we are deeply grateful.

All of us who wear the uniform are proud of our contribution to the effort to bring Iraq back into the international community as a democratic country. In Afghanistan, we continue the difficult task of ensuring that it is never again a breeding ground for those who threaten freedom. No one does that better than your Army and the American Soldier.

While America's Army remains at war and focused on the current needs of the nation, we must also focus on future strategy. History has proven that we cannot predict with certainty where or how the nation may call us to serve; what I do know is that we are prepared now and will continue to be in the future to provide a ready and responsive Army as part of the Joint Force wherever and whenever asked.

We have proven over the past decade that investment in our readiness is a strategic necessity and adapting to the always changing strategic environment requires continued focus on leader development, training, materiel solutions, improved equipment and properly organized formations. Additionally, we are improving the way we sustain readiness to conduct unified land operations through decisive action, training Soldiers for operational adaptability, uncertainty and complexity, and creating integrated training environments at home station. These efforts are critical to providing the greatest array of options to advance American security interests and achieve national security objectives.

Our Army must also be globally engaged and employed strategically to build and maintain global relationships and increase partner capacity and enhance regional security all over the world in ways that will be advantageous to our allies and the American people. This includes reinforcing our already robust presence and deep involvement with friends in the Asia-Pacific region. The relationships our Soldiers have and will develop with allies and partners are key to developing the trust and confidence necessary to form multinational coalitions that will deter conflict and respond to future contingencies.

To this end, we are aligning United States-based formations with our Geographic Combatant Commander's Areas of Responsibility around the world to provide a ready force organized and trained to a specific region of the world. This will allow us to better support their security cooperation campaigns with scalable and tailorable force for the specific mission and region. In so doing, we will strengthen relationships and interoperability with our allies and partners.

Key to sustaining this posture will be use of a progressive readiness methodology. We will continue to cycle forces through periods of time dedicated to training and building readiness, availability to deploy and operate, and then reset to recover from operations and prepare to train for the next. This will provide the Army with a steady stream of trained and ready forces for planned deployment and use by Combatant commanders around the world as well as ensure forces are always ready to respond to any contingency that may arise. Both Active Component and Reserve Component formations will use this methodology and continue to be employed around the world.

We are also focused on a modernization strategy that enables the Soldier and the squad by providing the best possible protection, network operability, mobility and lethality to our land forces. These empowered Soldiers and Squads will be connected to real-time data, imagery and possess immediate connectivity to the Joint Force. This capability will allow us to rapidly scale and tailor capabilities to deploy quickly and meet the full scope of mission demands in all environments.

We must make these improvements and reorganize while simultaneously becoming smaller. We are confident that our improvements in materiel, capabilities, training methodology and systems will ensure that the Army remains ready always. We will not only meet these challenges but thrive as we shift from a period of high operational tempo to one that is more sustainable and predictable, while always being ready to answer the call wherever it rings and advance the cause of freedom.

The reason why we have a great Army is in great part, due to the trust and faith of the American people. It is our sacred obligation to maintain this trust and ensure that the American people understand that the Army will protect them, their sons and daughters who serve, and the values that have made this nation the greatest in history. In every generation, there are the men and women who serve and sacrifice. Those who risk their lives on our behalf are often very clear about what matters most; they believe in their country, their mission, their training and their Families. We can take pride in knowing that the men and women who serve our nation understand their purpose. We look forward to working with our partners in industry, our Soldiers, our brothers and sisters in arms of the Joint Force and the American people we serve and protect. American Soldiers are and remain the best in the world. They provide "Service to the Nation and Strength for the Future."