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NEWS | July 1, 2021

Chief of Navy Reserve Fourth of July Message 2021

By Chief of Navy Reserve (CNR) Vice Adm. John Mustin

Greetings shipmates. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, I want to express my gratitude to our Navy Reserve Sailors and their families for their service to our Nation. Thank you for your contribution to transforming and modernizing our Force and for keeping our Navy Reserve warfighting-ready in this era of strategic competition.
Shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia in 1776, celebrations took place throughout the colonies.  The former colonists fired cannons and held drum parades expressing their support for independence.  Today, we celebrate with fireworks, barbeques, and maybe a day at the beach. 
But 245 years ago, before the celebrations began (and John Hancock signed his signature so large that King George would not have to use his spectacles to see it) the atmosphere was far more sober.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence risked their lives by signing that piece of parchment. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly, we will hang separately.”
Because of the grounding-breaking collective vision of our Founding Fathers, and the courageous actions of the many men and women who fought on behalf of independence during the American Revolution, we enjoy a legacy of freedom, and are free to live lives based on the idea that all people possess certain unalienable rights – to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That spirit transcends today through the millions of Americans across generations who have protected our democracy against tyranny, oppression, and persecution.  As former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter famously said: “It’s the risks you take, and the sacrifices you make, that ensure those ideals endure for all of us.”
This Fourth of July, let us take a moment to remember the foundation of our country, those serving at sea or downrange away from loved ones, and what it means to be a Navy Reserve Sailor.   You have much to be proud of, and a high bar to maintain as a member of our team. 
Finally, as you take some well-earned time off, remember to treat liberty as a mission – and to be safe.  Plan travel and other outings ahead of time and allow enough time to get to your destination.  Make smart decisions, exercise moderation in the use of alcohol, and know who to call if you find yourself in an unexpected situation. 
I want to thank each of you again for your service to our great nation.  I wish you and your families a happy, safe, and patriotic Independence Day.

Vice Admiral John Mustin
Chief of Navy Reserve
Commander, Navy Reserve Force