U.S. Army honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Guest Column

Headquarters, Department of the Army G-1

On Jan. 15, the United States recognized the federal holiday celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The national theme of the day – Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off – encourages individuals to dedicate the day to community service. This commemoration is an occasion to remember King’s remarkable life and to rededicate ourselves to his principles of unity and equality.

The Army is committed to the ideals endorsed by Dr. King —treating every individual with dignity and respect.

Influenced by King, the U.S. Army is dedicated to leveraging the strength of the Army’s diverse force and ensuring equality for all its members. All Soldiers, their families and civilians are valued members of the Army team and their contributions continue to be vital to the Army’s success and history.

Army leaders shape personnel policies and implement training that ensures every individual has the opportunity to use their skills and talent.

Throughout the Army, appropriate commemorative events are held consistent with King’s legacy of freedom and equality for all. Further, all members of the Army family are encouraged to commemorate this annual holiday by participating in community service activities.

Past and present Soldiers and civilians have built a legacy of professionalism, selfless service, dignity and respect. This legacy will continue to serve as a foundation for generations to come.

This day of national community service makes everyone mindful of the Army’s endeavor to promote diversity, foster inclusive behavior and demonstrate infinite respect for others.

Celebrating King’s dream helps to celebrate the American dream.

His life and teachings helped to shape the history of the U.S. and the culture of the nation. He dedicated his life to a dream of equality and challenged all, as a nation, to recognize that individuals should not be judged by the color of their skin.

Nearly 50 years after his death, King’s examples of leadership can continue to guide the Army.

The U.S. Army strongly embraces diversity as a way to create a system that maximizes individual talents, increases morale and greatly enhances organizational effectiveness.

King’s leadership rallied people from all walks of life and awoke a nation to the need for equality, tolerance and justice.

During Fort Meade’s celebration and observance of “A Day On, Not A Day Off,” retired Army Col. Gregory Gadson, former garrison commander of Fort Belvoir, Va., and a double leg amputee, offered some encouragement.

Gadson talked about the hope and passion demonstrated by King as one example of “someone who lived a selfless life who had a passion. Not that my passion was any less — mine was being a Soldier — but his example of putting his all into a cause when he knew he was endangering his life is an example that all of us can identify with.”

As we move steadfastly into 2018, let’s work passionately to garner our collective strength through unity, respect and communication.

Team Meade!

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