Fellow Soldiers and families,
As we celebrate our Army birthday this month, we’re reminded of just how much our Army has done and continues to do across the globe. We are America’s varsity team-fighting and winning our nation’s wars and keeping our families safe at home. When you look at sports teams that consistently win, there are three common traits: effective recruiting programs, talented coaching staff, and a robust and active alumni network. Our Army is a winning team and I attribute much of its success is due to you—the Army’s “alumni” network. You are always part of our team.
As the Under Secretary, I need your help to be successful on three initiatives: Soldier for Life, Best Business Practices, and Telling the Army Story. We need you to remain an engaged and active member of the team.
Every one of us is a Soldier for Life. After two deployments, I joined your ranks as an Army Veteran, just like 132,000 Soldiers do every year. Our time in the Army brands us as a leader of character committed to a lifetime of service. We are transforming Soldier for Life into something much more than simply a transition program and we are connecting generations of Soldiers and embracing a mindset that cultivates pride in the title “Soldier”. Soldier for Life can transform our force and how our nation views us. It reminds us that everyone who earned the title of Soldier is a civic asset. Soldier for Life will be a program of record and we will find solutions to improve how we maintain contact with our Retired Soldiers via email and social media to strengthen these connections and help us move forward as a community.
Best business practices within our Army ensures we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We have to make every dollar count because our budget will never be as large as we would like it to be. We are partnering with other public and private organizations to create synergies where we can. We are finding efficiencies that allow us to redirect more money toward readiness. This will require innovative solutions to managing our Army and your experiences, both in the Army and after. If you have ideas that will help us accomplish this, please let us know.
Telling the Army Story ensures America knows her Soldiers. 90% of America is on social media every day. I ask that you go to where they are and tell our story there. Use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. We need you to help America see the Army through your eyes. Every one of us is a recruiter. We have a story to tell and everyone in America needs to hear it. I ask each of you to remain engaged with our Army and to get out to visit the American Job Centers, Army Career Centers, high schools, and anywhere in your communities and share about your service to our nation. There are many Army accomplishments to be shared as well. You should be proud to be an American Soldier during these defining moments in history.
These initiatives directly affect our readiness. Telling the Army story helps us connect to America’s youth and reminds them that the Army is a great place to work and the best place to serve. It helps our units to be manned with the best America has to offer. Best business practices free up money so we can equip our units with new or upgraded equipment so we can continue to have an advantage over our enemies. Soldier for Life uses the power of our Soldier community to amplify your stories and to strengthen the Army brand. It makes sure this and the next generation are as strong as ever.
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our Army. We are eternally proud that you are a member of our team.
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Start Strong. Serve Strong. Reintegrate Strong. Remain Strong. SOLDIER FOR LIFE!
Under Secretary of the Army