Fort Belvoir celebrates Army’s 236th birthday
June 14, 2011
Fort Belvoir Garrison celebrated the Army’s 236th birthday and the 234th birthday of the American flag, Tuesday at Abbott Hall.
Col. John Strycula, garrison commander, hosted the event and guest speaker, Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, Army Cyber Command, commanding general, shared his thoughts on what it means to be a Soldier in today’s Army.
Strycula spoke about National Flag Day, designated by President Woodrow Wilson on June 14, 1916. The colonel said he views the day as an opportunity to reflect on the freedom that the flag represents.
“I was trying to get across the importance of the U.S. flag and what it has meant to the Army over the years,” said Strycula. “It’s interesting that they both have the same birthday of June 14, because the Army fights and supports under that flag.”
Celebrating the Army is also special to Strycula as a career officer.
“The Army’s an enduring enterprise,” he said. “It has traditions and it’s going to continue into the future, but (today the Army) remembers where it came from.”
Hernandez, who said he was celebrating his 40th Army birthday in uniform, began his speech with an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday.” then spoke about the formation of the Army in 1775, the sacrifices of Soldiers throughout history, and asked that everyone keep the Soldiers who are currently serving overseas in their prayers.
“Be proud that you’re part of the most disciplined, competent, and fit force in the world,” said Hernandez. “Maintain the trust that unites us as Soldiers and Americans.”
Installation Historian, Gus Person, gave a history of Army uniforms from the beginning of the Army to the present. He had the help of re-enactors dressed in uniforms throughout the ages.
Headquarters Battalion Soldiers Sgt. Chad Osinga and Spc. Seth Field, read the Act of the 2nd Continental Congress.
Person gave the history of the 1st Virginia Regiment, the 4th U.S. Infantry, the 51st Engineer Combat Battalion and the 1st Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry.
Sgt. Charles Groffel, assigned to the DeWitt Hospital Army Healthcare Network, represented the 1st Bn. 508th Parachute Inf.
“It’s another great example of how the Army is big on traditions and remembering its history,” said Strycula.
Celebrating his 23rd Army birthday, Strycula was pleased with the ceremony and all the effort that went into putting it together.
“It’s a great day to celebrate what the Army’s done,” Strycula said.