Army

June 21, 2012

Army Birthday celebrates Soldiers

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By Jennifer Lindquist
Special to the Scout

From left, Lt. Col John Donaldson, rear provisional commander, 11th Signal Brigade; Sgt. 1st Class David Lindemann, 11th Sig. Bde.’s oldest Soldier; Cadet 2nd Lt. Katie Scott, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps; and Pfc. Johnah Hill, 11th Sig. Bde.’s youngest Soldier, prepare to cut the Army Birthday cake at the Thunderbird Dining Facility on June 14.

Running, inspirational speeches and slices of cake helped Soldiers, civilians and Family members celebrate the Army’s 237th birthday on Friday at 6 a.m. during the Army Birthday Celebration on Warrior-Sentinel Fields. Approximately 500 guests participated in the post-wide event. Although the Army actually turned 237 on June 14, the main celebratory event was held on Friday.

Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, commanding general, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, and Spec. Juan Guerrero, NETCOM G-3, cut a birthday cake celebrating the U.S. Army’s 237th Birthday, June 14, at the mall in Sierra Vista. The Army birthday celebration was part of an opening ceremony for the Arizona “Remembering Our Fallen” traveling display. By tradition, the cake cutting was done by the senior ranking person of NETCOM, Napper, and the youngest Soldier in NETCOM, 20-year-old Guerrero. The “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit, which consists of photos and other memorabilia of all the fallen, is intended to honor the ultimate sacrifice made by more than 130 Arizonans, from all services, killed in the War on Terror while wearing our country’s uniform in Afghanistan or Iraq.

The festivities kicked off with a four-mile, esprit-de-corps run for individuals and units. Leading the run were Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, and Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Holiday, command sergeant major, USAICoE. Once the run was complete, Potter led the participating units in a series of cool-down stretches including pushups, mountain climbers and jumping jacks.

Next, Potter expressed his pride in the Army.

“For the last 10 ten years, the Army — your Army — has been doing some heavy lifting for our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. I couldn’t be prouder of these young men and women who joined our armed forces and gave up their freedom so that others may be free. Today that’s the most important thing — that’s what I wake up proud of every morning,” said Potter.

In Army tradition, a birthday cake was presented to the crowd after Potter’s remarks. The cake was created by Spc. Joshua Winfield, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Signal Brigade. It was a six-foot long, two-and-a-half-foot wide vanilla cake with a butter-cream filling. The cake was cut not only by Potter and Holiday, but also by the oldest Soldier at Fort Huachuca, Lt. Col Thomas McFarland, deputy post chaplain; and the youngest Soldier, Pvt. Ivy Carter, advanced individual training student.

Throughout the celebration, the main point was clear — the Army values its past and present Soldiers and their 237 years of sacrifices.

“[The Soldiers] are the bill payers for freedom, and they carry the burden of the nation. They do what 90 percent of Americans will not do, which is to execute our nation’s bidding. They are really the true heroes. It is rightful that we celebrate these 237 years [with them],” said Col. Kenneth Revell, installation chaplain.

Sgt. Michael Brickles, 18th Miltary Police Detachment, Military Working Dog Section along with Staff Sgt. Beast, a MWD, read from the book “Sam the Army Dog “to more than 20 children at the Sierra Vista Public Library in celebration of the Army’s 237th birthday on June 14. The event was a partnership between Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista. The event had two book readings, one by Brickles and “Happy Birthday U.S. Army” by Capt. Warren Wessling, Headquarters and Headquarters Company U.S. Army Garrison, and a birthday cake. The children then made birthday cards for the Army.

Units salute the colors during the Army’s 237th Birthday celebration on Warrior-Sentinel Field. Units showed their esprit de corps by participating in a traditional 4-mile run at 6 a.m., Friday.

Participating units stand at attention while the Fort Huachuca Honor Guard presents the colors to those waiting on the field. The Honor Guard’s uniforms pay homage to Soldiers who served in past conflicts.




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