U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah--Runners and walkers lined up at the starting point ready to participate in Dugway Proving Ground's celebration of the U.S. Army's 241st birthday this morning on the parade ground in front of the Headquarters' Building in English Village.

It was a surprisingly mild, sunny morning with no rain in sight, after days of soaking rain throughout Utah. Many of the run's particpants expressed their relief from the soggy weather and their eagerness to begin the Army's Birthday Run.

As part of the celebration, a new large 38 x 20 foot Garrison Flag was raised in front of Headquarters' building. To raise the flag, 12 Soldiers from the Dugway Occupational Health Clinic unfolded the great flag and raised it to full staff, before lowing it to half-staff. Its' presence added much to the remembrance of the day.

The Army's Birthday is well worth the celebration. In 1775, the Second Continential Congress founded the United States Army. It is the oldest service of our nation's military. Originally, it was formed to protect the freedom of the first 13 colonies. But now the Army has grown from a small militia force into the world's foremost fighting force of which Dugway is fiercely proud of its part.

Col. Sean Kirschner, Dugway's commander praised the workforce and community for gathering together to honor the service that represents the strength and diversity of America. During his opening remarks, Kirschner also asked for a moment of silence to remember our fellow citizens who tragically lost their lives in a recent terrorist attack in Florida.

The course for the run circled much of the former housing areas near Dugway High School and former Elementary School, including the running track, playground and the Spc. Jordan M. Byrd Memorial Baseball Field.

The 2.4 mile run and the 1.9 walking route are lined by gigantic old trees that provided much needed shade as the morning progressed. A wisp of a breeze carried the friendly conversation of old and new friendships as the participants completed the course.

The course ended where it began, on the parade field in front of the Command Headquarters building. There, runners and walkers gathered for a birthday cake-cutting ceremony to highlight the celebration. It was clear by the laughter and good-natured teasing that everyone seemed to enjoy the celebration.

Kirschner and Command Sgt. Maj. Montonya Boozier said tradition demands that the senior enlisted Soldier and the youngest Soldier join in cake-cutting ceremony using the traditional military sword. Master Sgt. Russell Kruse the Dugway Occupational Health Clinic's NCOIC and Pfc. Anthony Cruz a medic at the clinic joined them in the cake cutting ceremony. Cadet Gabriel Hake of Brighton, Colo., who is an intern from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, also helped cut the cake.

It was a morning that everyone felt the comraderie, satisfaction and goodwill that commemorated the pride and values of America's Army.