• National Training Center and Fort Irwin command team Maj. Gen. Ted Martin (right) and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers (left) cut an Army birthday cake at Fort Irwin, June 11. Cutting with them is Pvt. Austin Heiser, of 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and Col. Eric Sabety, who serves with United States Army Medical Department Activity here.

    Cake cutting at dining facility

    National Training Center and Fort Irwin command team Maj. Gen. Ted Martin (right) and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers (left) cut an Army birthday cake at Fort Irwin, June 11. Cutting with them is Pvt. Austin Heiser, of 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored...

  • United States Army Garrison at Fort Irwin commander Col. Jon Braga (right) and Sgt. Maj. Danny Knell (left) are about to cut an Army birthday cake with a ceremonial sword, June 11. Representing a senior and junior Soldier were:  Lt. Col. Larry Sheetz and Pfc. Robert Spataro.

    Garrison leadership cutting Army birthday cake

    United States Army Garrison at Fort Irwin commander Col. Jon Braga (right) and Sgt. Maj. Danny Knell (left) are about to cut an Army birthday cake with a ceremonial sword, June 11. Representing a senior and junior Soldier were: Lt. Col. Larry Sheetz...

  • An Army birthday cake represents Fort Irwin's Painted Rocks at a dining facility ceremony honoring the Army's 239th birthday, June 11.

    Painted Rocks cake

    An Army birthday cake represents Fort Irwin's Painted Rocks at a dining facility ceremony honoring the Army's 239th birthday, June 11.

  • The National Training Center welcome sign is represented at a ceremony for the Army's 239th birthday at Fort Irwin, June 11.

    NTC sign at Army birthday celebration

    The National Training Center welcome sign is represented at a ceremony for the Army's 239th birthday at Fort Irwin, June 11.

  • Staff Sgt. Tom Hickson, with 2nd Transportation Company here, goes for desserts at an Army birthday celebration at Fort Irwin, June 11.

    Staff Sgt. Tom Hickson gets desserts

    Staff Sgt. Tom Hickson, with 2nd Transportation Company here, goes for desserts at an Army birthday celebration at Fort Irwin, June 11.

  • Soldiers receive food during a dining facility Army birthday celebration at Fort Irwin, June 11.

    Soldiers receive food at dining facility

    Soldiers receive food during a dining facility Army birthday celebration at Fort Irwin, June 11.

  • Staff of the Los Angeles district for the Army Corps of Engineers enjoy an Army birthday meal at Fort Irwin, June 11.

    USACE staff enjoy Army birthday meal

    Staff of the Los Angeles district for the Army Corps of Engineers enjoy an Army birthday meal at Fort Irwin, June 11.

  • Soldiers wore Army uniforms of different eras going back to the Revolutionary War during an Army birthday celebration at Fort Irwin, June 11.

    Soldiers in Army period uniforms

    Soldiers wore Army uniforms of different eras going back to the Revolutionary War during an Army birthday celebration at Fort Irwin, June 11.

FORT IRWIN, Calif. -- The National Training Center and Fort Irwin celebrated the Army's 239th birthday on June 11, just a few days before training of a rotational brigade begins and ahead of the Army birthday June 14.

The theme for this year's celebration is "America's Army: Our Profession." The Army Profession -- where military expertise, honorable service, esprit de corps, and stewardship are built on a foundation of trust -- strengthens the force through periods of transition, reinforces identity, and provides the critical foundation for the force.

Commander of the NTC, Maj. Gen. Ted Martin, spoke at a ceremony at one of two dining facilities here and said that before "we had a country, we needed an Army."

"The only reason we have a country is because we have an Army," Martin said. "That Army started taking care of business in 1775 and hasn't stopped in 239 years. I'm proud that I've been a part of that for the last 31 years."

Martin expressed that the NTC would ultimately celebrate the Army's birthday by "taking a brigade combat team out in the wilderness and training them hard" (training for 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division begins later his week).

The traditional cutting of a cake was performed by Martin and NTC Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers, along with the youngest and oldest Soldier on the installation. The youngest, Pvt. Austin Heiser serves with 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the oldest, Col. Eric Sabety, serves with United States Army Medical Department Activity here. The cake cutting was flanked by Soldiers wearing period uniforms, going back to the Continental Army of the Revolutionary War.

At the other dining facility, United States Army Garrison at Fort Irwin commander Col. Jon Braga and Sgt. Maj. Danny Knell cut the traditional cake with a ceremonial sword. Representing a junior and senior Soldier were: Pfc. Robert Spataro and Lt. Col. Larry Sheetz.

At both dining facilities, Soldiers and staff decorated the dining areas and created artwork out of pastries and other deserts. Cakes replicated Fort Irwin's Painted Rocks and a battle field. Ice sculptures gleamed on tables. Soldiers, Families and civilians filled the facilities and enjoyed the food and festive ambiance.

Page last updated Fri June 13th, 2014 at 06:17