To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Families of the National Guard
Every February since 1976, our Nation celebrates the stories, journeys, triumphs, and achievements of African Americans during Black History Month. Black history is entwined with American history, and there is no shortage of African American heroes, visionaries, and leaders to study and admire. Looking to the past, we marvel at the courage of Sojourner Truth helping enslaved African Americans escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. We are moved by the words of Langston Hughes and the songs of Miles Davis. We are inspired by the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen who fought for our Nation—even when our Nation did not treat them equally.
But history is not only about the distant past—it is made every day. Every day, African Americans continue to make their mark on the American story, writing a new chapter through their character and contributions. This history-making does not happen in isolation; it is built upon centuries of hard-fought victories for civil rights and human dignity. We cannot ignore, reject, or deny our Nation’s past—we can only learn from it so we can know better, do better, and be better tomorrow.
We are honored to serve alongside the African American Soldiers and Airmen who choose to make history—Black history, American history—in the National Guard. Thank you for being Always Ready, Always There!
Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief, National Guard Bureau
Tony L. Whitehead
SEA, U.S. Air Force
National Guard Bureau