Secretary of Defense James Mattis, newly confirmed as the first member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet and sworn into office, posted a welcoming message to all Defense Department staff and troops around the world as one of his first acts Friday.
The message from the retired Marine Corps general, as published on the Defense Department's website, said:
"It's good to be back and I'm grateful to serve alongside you as secretary of defense.
"Together with the intelligence community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.
"Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.
"I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I'll do my best as your Secretary."