The Bayonet

Tuesday, Jun. 10, 2014

239th Army birthday

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As we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the founding of our nation's Army, let us reflect on and appreciate our Army's accomplishments.

Our Army has experienced a great deal of change, from the Continental Army to the wars of the 20th and 21st century. Today, our Army continues to develop new technologies, learn from the experience in Afghanistan, and evolve our organizations. But what has remained constant across our Army's 239 years is our commitment to defend our liberty, defeat our enemies, and accomplish the mission, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

And the foundation for our Army's success remains tough, disciplined Soldiers who are committed to our Army's values and committed to each other.

So our Army's birthday is an opportunity to reflect on the many changes across more than two centuries, but it is also an opportunity to renew our commitment to what must not change - our professionalism and our warrior ethos.

Our volunteer Soldiers have fought and are fighting the two longest wars in our nation's history. And they have done so with great distinction, confronting murderous enemies who use ignorance to foment hatred and hatred to inspire violence against innocents. Victory against these terrorists and criminals is inevitable. Inevitable because our enemies have nothing to offer but oppression and human suffering. Inevitable because America has courageous Soldiers who are committed to preserving the legacy of excellence inherited from those who have gone before us.

As George Washington observed outside Boston in 1775 when our Army was in its first year, "He that is a Soldier in defense of such a cause, needs not a title; his post is a post of honor, and although not an emperor, yet he shall wear a crown - of glory - and blessed will be his memory!"

Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Guden and I are proud to serve alongside Fort Benning's dedicated Soldiers and civilians. We wish our Army and all of you a happy 239th birthday.

Army Strong! One Force, One Fight!

- Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster Commanding general

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