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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What is it?

On Jan. 16, the Army joins the nation in recognizing the 32nd annual national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. This year’s national theme is “The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: A Day On, Not a Day Off.”

During this observance, the Army honors Dr. King’s memory, remembering the strength of his leadership, the power of his words, and the inspiration of his call for justice. The Army celebrates his legacy of freedom and equality for all.

The Army recognize the timeless values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, respect, humility and service. The Army remains mindful of the endeavor to promote diversity, foster inclusive behavior and demonstrate respect for others. In celebrating Dr. King’s dream, the Army celebrates the American dream.

What is the Army doing?

The Army is aligned with the Department of Defense to ensure that everyone who is able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so and will be treated with dignity and respect. America’s Army remains mission ready by leveraging a diverse, all-volunteer force.

Army leaders foster and sustain a culture where Soldiers can pursue viable military careers and opportunities to reach their full potential. The Army’s efforts, influenced by Dr. King, advance civil rights, protecting freedoms and ensuring the ability to participate in the civil and political life of the country without discrimination or repression.

Service members are Soldiers for life – lifelong members of an elite team who effect positive change worldwide by undertaking humanitarian missions that build communities and make them stronger than before.

The Army has long led the nation with a proactive approach to equality, with gender neutral studies, integration of women into once closed occupations, an anti-bullying/hazing policy and talent management based on the Army’s diverse Soldiers’ knowledge, skills and behaviors. This is essential to troop morale and the overall readiness of the force.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

The Army continues to develop and implement accession and retention strategies that contribute to its mission readiness while sustaining the Army as a national leader in diversity.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day stands as a further reminder of the strength the Army has gained and will continue to gain through having a high-quality, diverse all-volunteer force standing ready to answer the nation’s call.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army strongly embraces diversity as a way to maximize talent, increase morale and enhance military effectiveness. The Army values the service of all Soldiers and, by embracing their collective strengths, enhances force capability in global engagements.


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