24 December 2014
The holidays are a wonderful time of year. They provide a well-deserved opportunity to take a bit of a break, spend some time together with loved ones and friends, and, most importantly, reflect on the true meaning of this season of giving.
The past year has been an incredibly busy one for all of us assigned to or associated with U.S. Central Command. Every one of the 20 countries that make up our area of responsibility has demanded our best efforts, and this team has done extraordinary work under some very tough conditions. Although many challenges still exist in parts of the region, I am pleased to report that, overall, conditions are trending positive. This is a direct reflection of your hard work and the work of your teammates. You are making a lasting difference through your individual and collective efforts, and you should feel very proud of this fact.
That said, there is more work to be done! The year ahead promises to be one of transitions and new beginnings, and we must seize on the many opportunities that exist and build upon the progress that we have achieved thus far. In the spirit of the holidays and like past generations, in all that we do we should always strive to achieve our ultimate goal of peace on earth and goodwill towards all mankind.
As you celebrate the holidays, please pass along my sincere thanks and best wishes to your spouses and children and other close family members. We could not do what we do on behalf of our Nation without their love and support. Each of them is a valued member of our CENTCOM team and we are grateful for their service and for their many sacrifices. During this holiday season, please also keep in your thoughts and prayers our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and Civilians who are far from home and serving their country and their fellow citizens in difficult and dangerous places around the globe. They are the very best in the world and we are incredibly proud of them.
Again, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work, your tremendous enthusiasm, and for your incredible commitment to the mission and to our team. Charlene and I wish you and your families a very safe and enjoyable holiday.
I am proud of you! God bless.