WASHINGTON, June 14, 2011 — Days like today remind us of the central and essential role of the United States Army throughout our Nation’s history. I believe that in many ways, the story of the Army is the story of America — from our founding through the Civil War, a tumultuous 20th century, right up to today.
I often talk about how the Army is the very center of gravity for our military — a force that understands the power of ballots as well as bullets and culture as well as conflict.
It’s a force that is able to defeat an enemy swiftly and silently one day and help build a school or dig a well the next — one that has made possible the success we’ve seen in Iraq, the progress we are now making in Afghanistan and the security we ensure around the globe.
Tempered by ten years of war, the Army has transformed to deploy more modular and flexible capabilities than ever before, literally rewriting just about every rule in the book and revamping essential doctrine in order to adapt to the challenges of today’s dynamic and uncertain world.
But what impresses me the most is the flesh and blood of the Army — the extraordinary young men and women who signed up willingly to risk their lives for something greater than themselves. One of my greatest privileges over the last four years has been getting to know them and their families. I am simply awestruck at the manner in which they do their duty every single day.
To every Army soldier and civilian, family member and veteran, thank you for your service. I salute each of you for the difference you make for our Nation and for the world.
On behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Happy 236th Birthday!
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)