Soldiers and civilians of the Fort Detrick community gathered today on Fort Detrick's Blue and Gray Field to celebrate the Army's 243rd birthday during a ceremony that included leadership from across the installation and distinguished guests including Frederick City Mayor Michael O'Connor and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dr. Timothy E. Trainor.

Fort Detrick is also celebrating the Installation's 75th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command throughout the year.

Trainor, the current President of Mount St. Mary's University and former dean and chief academic officer at United States Military Academy, was the guest speaker for the event.

"As we were planning this event, Dr. Trainor, you immediately came to my mind to speak to us today and we are so glad your schedule allowed you to be here, as we celebrate this milestone in the Army's history," said Fort Detrick Garrison Commander Col. Scott Halter, during his remarks.

"During his 33-year military career, Dr. Trainor served as an engineer officer and had numerous operational assignments around the world. Dr. Trainor also served as the former dean and chief academic officer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where his accomplishments were many," continued Halter.

"His commitment to the U.S. Army, to academia, to his students and to the development of men and women of character make him a respected leader and someone we are lucky to have serving in our area," Halter said.

During his remarks Trainor talked about the Army being the first national institution of the United States, and how it has continued to be a vital organization in the growth of the country. The theme of this year's Army birthday is, "Over There! A Celebration of Army Heroes from WWI to Present Day," and Trainor spoke about the Soldiers who fought in World War I.

"The men who fought in Europe left their families, and the guns finally fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 100 years ago. Their sacrifices and valor helped build our Army, and today every Soldier carries on that tradition," Trainor said.

"All of the Soldiers serving today are volunteers, and they volunteered to serve while their nation is at war. I am proud of all our Soldiers, and this is a great day to celebrate the Army birthday," said Trainor.

The event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony where the garrison commander was joined by the youngest and oldest active duty soldier on Fort Detrick.

To learn more about the history of the United States Army, visit: