USARAF celebrates Army's 239th Birthday
June 12, 2014
On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized a resolution to establish ten
companies of riflemen. The greatest Army in history grew from this humble beginning. Now,
239 years later, the Army is more than 530,000 Soldiers, and is made up of valiant men
and women from all walks of life, who dedicate themselves to the service of their Nation.
U.S. Army Africa's Commanding General Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams; Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Stitzel along with the command's youngest Soldier Private 2 Brian Hollenbeck and the oldest Soldier Sgt. Maj. Anthony Young cut an Army Birthday cake during a celebration commemorating the Army's 239th birthday. The event was held on Caserma Ederle at the USARAF Headquarters, in Vicenza, Italy, on June 12.
In a letter to the USARAF team, the commanding general sited Veteran paratrooper Jim "Pee Wee" Martin as an example of what it takes to be a Soldier.
"Martin was a private first class with the elite 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne
Division when, 70 years ago, he jumped into Normandy on D-Day," Williams expressed. "Now 93, he returned to France last week to jump again."
USARAF Soldiers and Civilians stationed in Vicenza remember the lineage that began in 1943, and continues this proud heritage through its missions across Africa.
"Our strong, resilient Soldiers have defended democracy, protected the weak, uplifted the
fallen and continue to serve and live by the Army's core values and beliefs," he wrote. "The Soldiers, Civilians, and Families who serve U.S. Army Africa maintain this proud tradition."