USARPAC celebrates the Army's 236th Birthday
June 15, 2011
- We celebrate America’s Army: the Strength of the Nation.
- USARPAC Soldier of the year and the noncommissioned Officer of the year were announced.
- The oldest and youngest Soldiers cut the ceremonial birthday cake.
HONOLULU - Despite repeated trials in an era of persistent conflict, the U.S. Army has emerged stronger and is considered a world-class organization that continues to build on its demonstrated successes, the commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific told those attending the Army birthday commemoration ball June 10.
Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski told the crowd of more than 900 people that by participating in the commemoration ball, “We pay tribute to our Army Family as we celebrate America’s Army: the Strength of the Nation.”
“As we celebrate our Army’s birthday, let us be mindful of our brothers and sisters deployed in harm’s way, and especially of their Families,” said Wiercinski.
After the traditional toasts were made, a video tribute was shown honoring the 23 fallen USARPAC Soldiers who gave their lives in support freedom over the past year.
USARPAC Soldier of the year and the noncommissioned Officer of the year were announced at the Army birthday celebration. Staff Sgt. Adam Connolly from the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, was named the NCO of the Year. Winning soldier of the year competition was Sgt. Christopher Side from the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Regiment, Okinawa, Japan. The selections were made following a week-long, grueling Warrior Challenge competition at Schofield Barracks. Connolly and Side now will compete for Army honors at the Army-wide competition.
Mana O Ke Koa " Spirit of the Warrior " receipient for this year was Carole Kai, president of Carole Kai Charities Inc. She was recognized for her work with the annual Great Aloha Run, a race held on Presidents' Day every year. Kai has raised more than $9.1 million for more than 150 nonprofit organizations and more than $460,000 for military morale, welfare and recreation services.
In keeping with tradition the oldest and youngest Soldiers cut the ceremonial birthday cake. Command Sgt. Maj. (retired) Henry N.J. Lee represented the past, while Pfc. Craig Brown from the 25th Infantry Division represented U.S. Army future as they joined hands on the saber to make the first cut with Wiercinski and USARPAC Command Sgt. Maj. Frank M. Leota as the most senior commissioned officer and NCO of the evening.
Also attending the Army birthday commemoration were USARPAC’s commanders, who participated in a two-day conference where USARPAC’s new vision statement was announced. “One Team " America’s Theater Army in the Pacific area of responsibility " assuring security and stability,” is the new vision that serves to bind USARPAC units and theater allies and partners.
“Between now and our Army’s 237th birthday, this command will remain a force for progress in a culturally, socially, economically, and geopolitically vital theater, “ said Wiercinski.