As we approach the Army's 233rd Birthday, I can't help but to well up with pride. I joined the Army in January 1992 and have celebrated my birthday, with the Army, on June 14th for the last 16 years. Having deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have seen my fellow warriors accomplish extraordinary tasks and feats of heroism that I could not begin to describe. I can't imagine having any other profession.

When I walked into the recruiting station and that recruiter started filling out his forms, I know he was thinking that I would be an easy sell after he looked at my birth date. Since I joined, I have been stationed everywhere from Hawaii to New Jersey and Alaska. I have served as an assistant machine gunner in an Infantry unit, an opposing force squad leader, an air assault instructor, a chaplain's assistant and a transportation officer, to name a few.

I can't help thinking that I joined the Army, over any other branch -even though my dad was in the Navy - because I belong here. With an organization as great as the Army, though, it is hard to be a Soldier and not feel like you belong. Teamwork and camaraderie are what get Soldiers through the toughest of days and longest of nights.

As June 14th rapidly approaches, it may be just another day for other Soldiers, but it means so much more to me.

It means another year of freedom for America because brave men and women took up their arms and formed an Army that would be a force to be reckoned with back in 1775. It means another year of prosperity and security for the borders of the U.S. because Soldiers take the fight to their enemies rather than waiting for the fight to come into their homes where they are raising their families. Most of all, it means another year of unrivalled global leadership through force that can and will ultimately lead to peace, tolerance and agreement.

Capt. Jason M. Schulz is a supply officer with 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

Page last updated Fri June 13th, 2008 at 15:54