Commanders Corner: Is thanksgiving a noun or a verb?

U.S. Army illustration

When I consider what Thanksgiving means to the Aberdeen Proving Ground community, I am struck by a simple, yet thought-provoking fact: “Thanksgiving” is, fundamentally, an action word.

In the Army, we are men and women of action, not complacency.  And as one of the DoD’s most unique military installations — making extraordinary contributions to research and development, testing and evaluation, science and technology, fielding, and sustainment — this virtue holds particular applicability and significance for us.

Accordingly, our “action” of thanksgiving should not be one of once yearly, passive content in food and football.  (Of course, we can all agree there’s nothing wrong with a little pigskin — Go Army, Beat Navy!)  It must be a proactive attitude of humility and steadfast perspective that permeates our mindset and informs the decisions we make every day.

To be sure, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to relax and take stock of our many gifts: possessions, homes, children, extended Families, and, of course, our freedom and military prowess.  But it is also a time to consider how we can apply the action of thanksgiving throughout the new year and beyond to be better parents, friends, community members, and supporters of our Warfighters.  In addition, I ask that you keep our military and civilian personnel serving in harm’s way, and their Families, close in your thoughts.

In April, you humbled me with the extraordinary responsibility of representing, safeguarding, and stewarding the organizations and 27,000 Soldiers, Civilians, and retirees who call this installation home.  I am grateful to every one of you, every day, for the trust you have placed in me, and for the vital role you play in defense of our great Nation.

On behalf of the entire APG leadership team, I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

America’s Army, Your Army!

Very respectfully,

Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, APG Senior Commander