Nation's capital celebrates Army's 236th birthday
June 14, 2011
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 14, 2011) -- Four months older than the Navy, five months older than the Marine Corps, the nation's oldest military branch began its 236th birthday celebration with senior Army leaders presenting a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 14, 2011.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III presented the red, white and green wreath with blue ribbons to the tomb's Relief Commander after which Taps was sounded.
Even though the Army's birthday is June 14, festivities in the nation's capital began June 11 with the traditional black-tie ball featuring the Army Field Band and country music recording artist Phil Vassar. Aside from a cake-cutting at the birthday ball, cake-cutting ceremonies are slated for June 14 at the Pentagon and another with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.
The celebration will also feature precision and tradition with a twilight tattoo and performances from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard" at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., June 15. During the tattoo, David A. Hovda will be presented the Army's Strength of the Nation Award for his exceptional contributions to breakthrough research for systematic recovery from traumatic brain injury. Hovda serves as director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center.
The week's birthday events cap off with the traditional birthday run June 17 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.