Fort Rucker celebrates Army's 238th birthday
Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum (center), U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, cuts the Army birthday cake with Command Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson Jr., Aviation Branch command sergeant major, Chaplain (Col.) Dennis R. Newton, garrison and Aviation center chaplain and oldest Soldier on hand, 2nd Lt. Nicholas A. Simpson, 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment of the Georgia National Guard and youngest Soldier on hand, and CW5 Michael L. Reese, chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch, for the Army's 238th birthday celebration at the Landing June 14.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 20, 2013) -- For 238 years, the U.S. Army has fought to protect and defend the freedom that people enjoy today, and Fort Rucker celebrates that freedom just as anyone would -- with cake.

One of Fort Rucker's younger Soldiers along with one of the installation's more senior Soldiers were on hand to cut the Army birthday cake with senior leadership at The Landing June 14.

Second Lt. Nicholas A. Simpson, 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment of the Georgia National Guard, cut the cake with Chaplain (Col.) Dennis R. Newton, garrison and Aviation center chaplain, along with Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson Jr., Aviation Branch command sergeant major, and CW5 Michael L. Reese, chief warrant officer of the Aviation Branch.

"For 238 years, the U.S. Army has been the strength of our nation, so here's to 238 more," said Mangum as he cut the cake. "For all of those in uniform, thank you for your service."

Newton was the oldest serving Army Soldier on hand to cut the cake, and he said it's an honor to serve in the Army, as well as participate in the Army's birthday.

"I participated in the Army's 198th birthday when I was a young enlisted Soldier, and it impressed me that the Army even thinks about (celebrating) its birthday," he said.

Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, agreed adding the celebration is about more than just the Army's birthday.

"This is a celebration of all the people that have come before us and have fought and died," he said. "It's just recognition for all of that and it's just important that no matter what situation (our nation is in), fiscal or otherwise, that we recognize what's gone on before us."

Along with the cutting of the Army birthday cake, Fort Rucker celebrated with the Dueling Piano's Army Birthday Celebration at The Landing Friday evening, and the Army Strong Triathlon at Lake Tholocco June 15, in which more than 260 people participated.

These events helped bring awareness to the history of the Army, and reminded people of what the Army has accomplished since its inception.

In 1775 the Army began to take shape after a shared collection of militias from the different colonies fought the first battles of the Revolution War.

The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on May 10 of that year to discuss war matters, a main focus of which was creating a common army.

On June 14, 1775, the Congress approved the creation of the Continental Army with George Washington as its commander-in-chief.

Page last updated Thu June 20th, 2013 at 00:00