FORT BENNING, Ga. (June 14, 2018) -- The Maneuver Center of Excellence held a cake-cutting ceremony June 14 at the headquarters at Fort Benning, Georgia, in celebration of the 243rd anniversary of the U.S. Army's founding in 1775.

Staff Sgt. William Lopez, an instructor at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, one of the most senior Soldiers on post, made the first cut of the cake with Brig. Gen. David A. Lesperance, the U.S. Army Armor School commandant. Pvt. Emmaleigh Jacob, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, one of the most junior Soldiers on post, made the second cut of the cake with Maneuver Center of Excellence Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Brzak.

Lesperance spoke at the event and reflected on both the Army's and Fort Benning's history.

"Not only is it the 100th year of the formation of our current installation and the delivery of trained Soldiers and leaders to the maneuver force, it's also the centennial of our entry into World War I," said Lesperance. "It really was the foundation of the innovative, highly lethal and professional Army that we have today."

The U.S. Army was founded June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Fort Benning. Infantry School of Arms staff and Soldiers from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, arrived to the Columbus, Georgia, area Oct. 1, 1918, and an 84-acre farm on Macon Road was named Camp Benning Oct. 19.

For video of MCoE and Fort Benning's Army birthday celebration, visit "VIDEO" in the "Related Links" section on this page.

For photos of the celebration, visit "PHOTO ALBUM" in the "Related Links" section on this page.