Letter to the force

To the Army Family:

Late last week I had the great honor of being sworn in as your 25th Secretary of the Army. As I watched the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington on Memorial Day, I reflected on what a distinct privilege it is to lead the finest men and women that our great nation has to offer. It is truly humbling to represent the Soldiers, Civilians, and Families that make up the world’s greatest land fighting force.

As a career civil servant and later as a senior official in the Department of Defense I have worked alongside and seen firsthand the sacrifices Soldiers and their families make when answering our nation’s call at home and abroad. I am proud to represent the service of so many serving today, but also that of my grandfather, a World War II Army veteran, my father-in-law, an Army veteran, and my sister, who serves today in the Army Reserve. I join General McConville in striving to ensure we provide the Army with the resources it needs to succeed through our priorities of People, Readiness and Modernization.

Our people are the priority effort and I intend to champion a full range of initiatives to better the force. Character and culture matter — I will do my utmost to ensure we have a healthy command climate which fosters Army values at every installation, securing the well-being of our people. I will focus on making sure the Army can recruit, develop, train and retain the diverse talent it needs to remain the world’s premiere land force. Our Soldiers, Civilians and Families deserve the best quality of life possible and I will strive to continue improving our Army housing, healthcare, childcare, and spouse employment opportunities.

Without fail, the Army will continue to provide ready forces capable of responding globally. I will ensure the Army continues to adapt and stay ahead of the capabilities of our adversaries, whether they are near peer nations or newly emergent threats, while also competing successfully below the threshold of conflict. To maintain our readiness, we must strike a difficult balance between meeting the demands of current operations while also preparing for the future. We must also eliminate harmful behaviors that undermine readiness. There is no place in our Army for sexual harassment and assault, domestic violence, extremism or racism.

I am committed to continually transforming our forces to be able to compete, deter, and if necessary fight and win across the multi-domain battlefield. The Army must be manned, trained, equipped, and modernized to be ready to fight today, but also to meet the demands of an uncertain and unpredictable future. Seeing our modernization programs through successfully will remain a top priority so that the Army is ready to meet future challenges.

I promise to lead as a hands-on Secretary who works closely with the Army’s leadership at all levels. I will model ethical and transparent leadership and I will demonstrate care for the entire Army team each and every day. I could not be prouder and more humbled to have this opportunity to serve as the Secretary of the Army. I look forward to meeting with and hearing from many of you in the coming months, and I am excited about what we can do for our nation together.

Army Strong!

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