R 121249Z JUN 20
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/U.S. ARMY BIRTHDAY//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. On 14 June 1775, in the earliest days of our republic, the American Army was born. Today, we mark this historic occasion with deep respect for our Nation’s Soldiers – our comrades in arms.
2. Along with marking the 245th anniversary of the Army, this year also commemorates 75 years since some of the most significant battles of World War II. It seems fitting to look to the “greatest generation” for an example of the courage and willingness to sacrifice that are hallmarks of the United States Army. On 1 April 1945, tens of thousands of Soldiers and Marines landed on the island of Okinawa, beginning a battle that would last 82 days. Many Americans made the ultimate sacrifice at Okinawa, and courage under fire was a common attribute among those who participated in the assault. The warriors who stormed the beaches of Okinawa included soldiers like PFC Alejandro R. Renteria Ruiz. When his squad was pinned down by machine gun fire from a camouflaged enemy pillbox, PFC Ruiz ran through grenade explosions and rifle and automatic fire to reach the top of the emplacement. His rifle jammed on his first attempt, and he ran back through bullets and grenades to acquire more ammunition and another automatic rifle. His second assault on the pillbox neutralized the threat. Despite all enemy guns firing upon him, he charged on, miraculously reaching his objective. His courage and fearlessness in battle earned him the Medal of Honor.
3. Bravery exhibited by Soldiers like PFC Ruiz have made our Nation’s Army the finest in the world for nearly two and half centuries. Marines take great pride in the many battles we have fought alongside our Army counterparts. On behalf of the entire Marine Corps, it is my distinct honor to congratulate the United States Army on its 245th Birthday.
4. Semper Fidelis, David H. Berger, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps.//