FORT HOOD, Texas- When a baby turns one, many families around the world hold festivities to celebrate the joyous occasion. The same is true for a military unit that has its first birthday; it is a time for celebration.
Soldiers stood in formation beneath the blazing sun June 16 for the Regimental Engineer Squadron's first birthday celebration. Although the ceremony was short, the significance of the event was recognized by all who attended.
Speakers at the birthday ceremony displayed pride in their unit by expressing their dedication and motivation.
Lt. Col. Lynn Ray, the first commander of the Regimental Engineer Squadron "Pioneer," 3rd Cavalry Regiment, spoke about the origins of the unit and how proud she is to be the commander of this recently established squadron.
"As I have reflected over the last year, one thing is certain, I am repeatedly in awe of what these leaders and troopers have accomplished ... with minimal resources but an abundance of will, determination and unbridled imagination," said Ray as she stood at the lectern addressing the crowd.
She continued, "All I'm left with is a simple 'thank you' to all leaders and Troopers of Pioneer Squadron over the past year and for what you will do in the coming year. Thank you for never being satisfied with mediocrity. Thank you for the privilege to write our history one day at a time."
Not only were the speakers prideful of this celebration, but so were the Soldiers who had roles in the ceremony.
"I'm glad that I am one of Pioneer's first Soldiers; it's a great feeling knowing that I played a part in making history," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Rogers, the squadron's schools non-commissioned officer-in-charge, who has been with the unit since its inception.
During the ceremony, all of Pioneer's company commanders placed something of importance inside a wooden box. The objects ranged from unit pictures, coins, and shirts to newspaper articles written about the squadron. The wooden box served as a time capsule, and it would not be opened until the seventh squadron commander assumes command.
Ray was the last commander to place items inside of the time capsule. Rogers sealed the box and carried it away to be stored in the squadron's headquarters' building.
"It was such an honor to carry the time capsule knowing that there where so many significant items placed inside by each commander," said Rogers. "It's pretty cool that Pioneer's first birthday happened on the same week as the Army's 241st birthday."
No birthday celebration would be complete without some cake. Seven cakes were placed on the table for the last official event of the ceremony - the cake cutting.
Each cake represented a company within the squadron. As the companies' first sergeants and commanders stood behind their cake holding on to a unit sword, the master of ceremonies counted to three.
"Let's eat cake," said Ray, after she and Pioneer's command sergeant major made the first cut.