Ceremonies honor Army past, present
June 21, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 21, 2012) -- Birthdays are a time for people to remember the past and celebrate the future, but for the Army's birthday they are also a time to honor achievement and sacrifice.
Fort Rucker celebrated the Army's 237th birthday with cake cutting ceremonies at The Landing Zone for the general public and Dining Facility No.2 for Soldiers June 14.
Col. James A. Muskopf, Fort Rucker garrison commander, was on hand at The Landing Zone to cut one of the Army birthday cakes.
"Today is the Army's birthday and it's a day we [observe] every year to celebrate our heritage all the way back to the Continental Army," he said. "It's a great day to remember what the Army has done over the past 237 years."
Part of what the Army has done and the celebrated heritage is the Army's ability to promote change, according to a tri-signed letter by Army leadership. From the beginning, the Army has adapted and changed to meet the needs of the nation from securing frontiers, and building roads and canals, to fighting in two world wars on up to current conflicts.
At the dining facility cake cutting, Soldiers were the primary audience.
"It's not so much the significance of the day itself, but the remembrance of those who came before us," said CW3 Jim L. Ramge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the Warrant Officer Career College. "Today we celebrate the continued honor, bravery and loyalty of our Soldiers in this noble calling. Our Army remains strong, and our Soldiers are strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs."
Billy Blackwell, mayor of Ozark, was in attendance to show his support and appreciation to Fort Rucker and the Soldiers.
"I want to say to you young men and women here that [the surrounding communities] really appreciate your commitment to the nation," he said. "We appreciate what you do … and we are totally committed to the Soldiers and Families here at Fort Rucker."
Tradition calls for the oldest Soldier of the U.S Army WOCC, Ramge, to cut the cake with the youngest Soldier of the WOCC, Staff Sgt. Sean Huling, 1st Warrant Officer Company.
"It's like the passing of the torch from one to the other," said Ramge. "This is an honor that goes beyond anything that I'm wearing on this uniform right now -- it means a lot. But more importantly, it's a few minutes to put aside everything in our lives and remember … the sacrifices a lot of Soldiers and Families have made over the years."
The cake cutting ceremony also served as a learning experience for some Soldiers on the history of the Army and where the Army came from, said CW4 Eugene Murphy, HHC WOCC.
"I think [the ceremony] is something that we all should experience and see," he said. "I think the cake cutting ceremony enlightens a lot of these younger Soldiers and makes sure they know exactly what we stand for.
"The Army's birthday gives you a realistic view of where we come from, what we stand for and where we're going," Murphy continued. "We can't go where we want to go until we know where we came from and we're appreciative for the opportunity to be serving, so, I think it's only right that we share that with everybody."
Fort Rucker will continue to share that heritage and celebrate the Army's birthday during the Music Under the Alabama Stars concert at Howze Field June 22 at 6:30 p.m. that includes a streamer ceremony, according to Muskopf.
"This is going to be a special [concert] to help us honor the Army birthday," he said. "It will be a wonderful night for people to come out, bring the Family, the kids and the dog to come enjoy the ceremony."