***image1***On the fourteenth day of June in 1775, the Continental Congress established our Army. In the 229 years since that day, our Army has proven itself on countless battlefields as liberty’s best friend and oppression’s worst foe.
Since its birth — over a year before the Declaration of Independence — the United States Army has played a vital role the growth and development of the American nation. From winning our new nation’s independence in a tough eight-year fight, to preserving the Union through the tortuous struggle of the Civil War, through the global conflicts of the 20th Century, our citizens can draw great satisfaction from knowing that whenever the nation was in need, our Army answered the call.
Sixty years ago, in the Army’s birth month of June 1944, our brave Soldiers stormed ashore Normandy to begin the final thrust to liberate Western Europe. While that beachhead was expanding, Our Soldiers liberated Rome, made gains against Japanese invaders in New Guinea, struggled against terrain, weather and a tough enemy in Berma, and reinforced the U.S. Marine Corps on Saipan. We celebrate our veterans of 1944 on this 229th Army birthday as we also celebrate the service of our younger U.S. veterans who fought in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts.
Today’s Army is the greatest land fighting force in the history of the world. This spring, we completed the largest troop movement since World War II, while continuing our engagement in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Our Army is serving in more than 120 countries, conducting missions across the spectrum of conflict from humanitarian assistance to combat operations. While at war, we are contin