Happy 241st Birthday U. S. Army!

June 9th, 2016 | Commentary, News
Robert L. Caslen Jr., Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, USMA Superintendent

Dear West Point community,

On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress, recognizing the need for a common, organized army to defend the colonies, assumed authority for an existing volunteer militia near Boston, and resolved to form a committee to “bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army.”

Additionally, they voted for $2 million to support the volunteer forces at Boston and New York City and authorized the formation of 10 companies of expert riflemen to support the New England militia. These actions marked the creation of the Continental Army.

Each year, on June 14, we collectively pause as an Army to celebrate our proud legacy of selfless service to our nation and its defense and the generations of Americans who have proudly borne the title of American Soldier.

At our graduation ceremony a few weeks ago, Vice President Biden told our new graduates, “Whenever the stakes are highest, we turn to the United States Army. Whether it’s fighting terrorism, training our partners, reassuring our allies or providing humanitarian relief, we call on you. And right now, the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

For 241 years, whenever the stakes have been the highest, America’s Army has answered the call, no matter the time or place.

Whether combating terrorism around the globe, providing deterrence in Europe, working with allies and partners in Africa and South America, conducting peacekeeping missions in the Sinai Peninsula and Kosovo, assisting in a wide range of humanitarian operations, or providing security here at home, America’s Soldiers have answered the call, always ready, always leading.

No matter what history demands of them, American Soldiers rise to the challenge each and every time, responding to the call of duty to stand in the gap between the American people and anything that would threaten our values and ideals.

And since our founding in 1802, West Point has had the honored duty of training leaders of character who lead these Soldiers—America’s sons and daughters—through the most difficult of circumstances, defending our nation’s ideals around the world.

From its very beginning, our Army has always stood for courage, decency and shining hope and we continue to do so.

Whether active duty, reserve, National Guard, civilian employee or family member, each of us are a critical part of today’s Army.

Collectively we continue to serve the American people; we uphold our duty to provide for their security, and we represent all that is great about America and its people.

Whenever the stakes are highest, we are always ready to deploy, fight and win in a complex world. And as we have done for 241 years, we will always lead in protecting our great nation, making the world’s best Army even better.

Happy Birthday, United States Army!

Robert L. Caslen Jr.

Lieutenant General, U.S. Army

USMA Superintendent