AUSA celebrates Army birthday, inducts new officers
Community members cut a birthday cake celebrating the U.S. Army's 235th birthday during an AUSA luncheon at The Landing June 16. From left are Spc. Jason Walters, C Co., 1st Bn., 11th Avn. Regt.; retired Col. Seldon Bailey, of Dothan; Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, USAACE and Fort Rucker commanding general; Sam MacMaster, AUSA Wiregrass Chapter president and CW5 Jeffrey Reichard, Aviation Branch chief warrant officer. Afterward, a military spouse received a scholarship and new AUSA leaders were installed.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The youngest and oldest Soldiers present at a June 16 cake cutting helped the installation celebrate the Army's 235th birthday.

Spc. Jason Walters, an air traffic controller with C Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment, cut the frosted treat with retired Col. Seldon Bailey, of Dothan, during the Association of the United States Army Wiregrass Chapter's luncheon at The Landing. Walters was the youngest Soldier present and Bailey the eldest.

Assisting the two were Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general; CW5 Jeffrey Reichard, Aviation Branch chief warrant officer; and Sam MacMaster, former AUSA Wiregrass Chapter president.

After the birthday celebration, AUSA installed four new officers to lead the organization in the coming year. Chris Harper replaced MacMaster as president, while retired Col. Tom Walker, Phillip Tidwell and retired Col. Scott Larese became first, second and third vice presidents, respectively. Harper, Walker and Tidwell filled the vice president positions last year.

"I hope to continue what MacMaster started - (a successful) membership drive and getting people involved," Harper said.

Also during the lunch, AUSA members bestowed a $3,000 scholarship upon a military spouse working toward achieving higher education goals.

Christina Borchardt, wife of Noncommissioned Officer Academy staff member Staff Sgt. James Borchardt, said she'll use the funds for books and tuition at Wallace Community College, where she's pursuing her associate's degree in medical assisting.

"I enjoy working with people," she said. "Health care is portable and something I enjoy."

MacMaster and AUSA corporate sponsors presented a $10,000 check to Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff for the July 3 Freedom Fest, and $3,700 for the Army 10-Miler Team, which races in Washington, D.C., in October.

Supporting Army Families and activities through scholarships and sponsorships is meaningful to AUSA members, their new president said.

"The (post) is a vital part of the area. Army people do so much, and to give something back is nice," Harper said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16