Since 1985, the first week in May has been set aside to honor and thank the men and women of our Nation's government workforce. This observance has special resonance in the United States Army, which has a long tradition of professional, honorable, and dedicated public servants entrusted with duties vital to our national security. During Public Service Recognition Week, we pause to recognize the tremendous contributions our Civilians make every day for our Soldiers, their Families and our Nation.
Army Civilians are an integral part of the Army team. These great Americans ensure the readiness and well-being of Soldiers and their Families. Even as Army Civilians endured disruption and hardship during last year's furlough, they remained committed to the mission. These actions alone command the utmost respect and appreciation of the entire Nation. We are certain that Army Civilians will continue to play their critical role in ensuring our Army is prepared and ready when called to service, whatever challenges may arise.
Army Civilians provide unmatched expertise, stability and continuity to our force, qualities that are essential to our success. As such, we must continue to develop our Army Civilians as technical experts, functional managers and enterprise leaders. We are doing this through talent management initiatives such as defining critical competencies for the Army of 2020, and the development of policies that outline training, education and development opportunities for a capabilities-based Civilian workforce.
Undoubtedly, the Army will remain the most highly-trained and professional all-volunteer land force in the world , in no small measure because of the dedication and commitment of our Civilian workforce.
To everyone that we honor during Public Service Recognition Week, thank you for a job well done. Working together, our Soldiers and our Civilians make us Army Strong!