In a letter issued yesterday to the men and women of the armed forces, the nation’s top two military officers and senior enlisted member marked the 40th anniversary of the all-volunteer force.
The letter -- signed by Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs; and Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman -- reads as follows:
Since the Nation's founding, our sons and daughters have volunteered to leave the everyday comforts of their homes, their neighborhoods, and their families to join and serve a cause greater than themselves. They have joined a profession bound by honor, sacrifice, bravery, and -- in many cases -- danger. They serve a greater purpose -- protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.
On 1 July 1973, the United States instituted the All-Volunteer Force. Those who choose to wear the cloth of our Nation do so with a great sense of pride and allegiance. To volunteer speaks volumes to the character, patriotism, and commitment of America's most precious resource -- our men and women who serve.
As we commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the All-Volunteer Force, we would like to pass our heartfelt appreciation to all those who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces. You are America's strength -- you honor our past, and you preserve our future.
Well done, Warriors -- thank you for your service!