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Message from the Under Secretary

It is my great honor to serve with you in performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. I am humbled by this opportunity to continue in service to our great nation.

Since rejoining the Department in 2017 as the Under Secretary of the Air Force, my confidence and admiration unceasingly grows toward the active and reserve Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Civilians who serve to protect and defend our country and our way of life.

As we work to advance our nation's defense, our focus is to ensure our U.S. Armed Forces remain ready to confront both today's threats and tomorrow's evolving challenges. People and readiness are inextricably linked; therefore, we must attain and sustain readiness across the spectrum of threats by attracting and holding on to the best people America has to offer.

Our Secretary of Defense has reaffirmed that the 2018 National Defense Strategy will remain our keystone to successfully compete, deter, and if necessary, fight and win across the spectrum of conflict against great power rivals, as well as rogue nations and violent extremist organizations.

In implementing the strategy, your efforts across P&R must support the warfighter and enable the military departments through its three lines of effort. Specifically:
  • Enhance readiness assessments through harmonizing measurement, evaluation, and validation of readiness levels across the Department. Cultivate a more lethal force by ensuring we recruit and retain a diverse 21st century Total Force with the appropriate aptitudes, the best training, relevant education, and comprehensive support for their families.
  • Promote and execute increased partner nation access to U.S. military education and training programs to establish mutually beneficial relationships, develop enduring personal connections with future leaders, and expose participants to American values.
  • Emplace reforms for more effective management processes and achieve greater efficiencies to free resources for the warfighter, while remaining good stewards of American taxpayer dollars.
Secretary Esper articulates an additional priority line of effort-taking care of families-to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed, and the quality of life they deserve. I fully support this priority and we will ensure every family member receives the care and support they deserve.

I ask all members of the P&R organization to uphold the values the American public admire so much about our institution. We should remember the importance of working together and ensuring we speak with a unified voice.

Operational security and discretion must be a top priority to protect our information and preserve decision space for our senior leaders.

Lastly, integrity and ethics must remain the hallmarks of our daily business.

Our nation depends on each and every one of us. Together, we will ensure America's military remains the most capable force on the face of the planet. I look forward to serving with each of you!

Matthew P. Donovan
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