By Brig. Gen. Terry Ferrell, Commanding General, National Training Center and Fort Irwin
(Victor Valley)–This Thursday, June 14, we ask High Desert communities to join us in recognizing the Army’s 237th birthday and the strong spirit of service that binds the Soldiers, Families, and civilian employees of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin to our community partners in the High Desert.
As we celebrate the Army’s proud history, we are reminded that 237 years ago, our forefathers established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country, her constitution, and her citizens against all enemies.
Since its birth on June 14, 1775 – more than a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence – the Army has proudly answered the call of our Nation. Our Soldiers have fought in wars at home and abroad from the American Revolution to the War on Terrorism to defend freedom, peace and democracy.
Since Fort Irwin’s birth (activation) in 1981, Barstow, Newberry Springs, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia and other communities in the High Desert have supported our community with your sons and daughters, spouses, and friends and neighbors who make our mission here possible. Like any other birthday celebration, we also take time to celebrate our progress. We’ve come a long way since our founding fathers signed the charter establishing the Army. We’ve made great strides in our profession, our stewardship, and our innovation thanks to all of you.
People are our Army. The Army is the world’s highest quality force; all-volunteer, upholding standards of discipline and fitness. We are a profession comprised of trained experts, moral and ethical leaders and Soldiers. The Army is America’s sons and daughters bonded together by trust, honor and duty. We celebrate the dedication and bravery of our Soldiers and their leaders in this noble calling. At their core are the Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. The Nation’s freedoms rest in the hands of our Soldiers, Families and civilians. Their dedication makes them the Strength of our Army.
Our Army is the Nation’s force of Decisive Action – ready today and prepared for tomorrow. As the most trained and ready land force in the world, we prevent conflict. We help shape the international environment so our allies are empowered and our enemies are contained. No matter the task, no matter the environment, no matter the difficulty – America’s Army accomplishes the mission.
Often birthdays cause us to look ahead, and today we celebrate our future. Although predicting the future isn’t possible, we do know that the National Training Center and Fort Irwin will continue to train America’s Army for decisive action whenever and wherever we are needed. We at Fort Irwin also know that we cannot do this without the continued support of our community partners throughout the High Desert.
We know there are challenges ahead, but there has never been a challenge we haven’t been able to meet, overcome and surpass. We are always mindful that our future success is in your hands; the hands of the people we serve.
On this Army Birthday, we remember yesterday’s Soldiers and all they have done to make our Nation great. We celebrate 237 years of defending freedom and democracy around the world.
On this Army Birthday, we look forward to continuing the legacy of Army excellence.
On this Army Birthday, we appreciate all those who have served and continue to serve, both at home and abroad … To their families who have sacrificed and endured … To you – our community partners in the High Desert, who embrace and support them.
Happy birthday and Thank You!