From Col Stratton; please ensure that this message reaches all of ST, to include our troops forward.
To the Special Tactics Family:
As we celebrate this most American of holidays, I want to tell each and every one of you how extremely proud I am of all of you - our ST force. In a nutshell, our force has never been more combat capable, combat experienced, and relevant to the fight. Regardless of the AFSC or duty status (active duty, Guard/Reserve, Civilian, or Contractor), our people have never been more expert in what they do, and more effective overall in their duties and responsibilities. We continue to impress those who see our daily impact on operations, and our effects on the battlefield are far-reaching. Our three core skill areas of Combat Control, Pararescue, and Special Operations Weather have never been in higher demand; said another way, business is good. We have literally become a go-no go criterion for SOF tactical operations - that should be a point a pride for all ST warriors, past and present, for this has not always been the case. Our continuing demand is evidenced by the number of our people deployed in harm's way during this Thanksgiving. Remember those that are spending yet another holiday season away from their loved ones.
For our deployed warriors: you embody what we are about. We are a combat force, pure and simple, and you guys prove that every day. All of our disparate Group functions - current ops, training, weapons/tactics, etc - always find their way back to you, and your well-being. Thanks for all you do.
For the spouses, the families: do not ever think that you are not absolutely important to all of us. The sacrifices you make routinely in support of our mission are fundamental to our success, and you don't hear often enough what you deserve to hear - our thanks and deep appreciation for your continuing love and support.
We all continue to face day to day challenges, both collectively and individually, in our professional as well as our personal lives. Some of these challenges are serious, and tend to dissuade us, and may get us down. But it is during the holidays that we have the opportunity to stop and count our blessings. So, for this Thanksgiving, please pause in what you're doing, and take a moment to count those blessings.
Reflect on all the good things that we as Americans can be thankful for. For those fortunate enough to be spending time together with your loved ones, take full advantage of it...but please remember those who are unable to do so.
Please have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday.