PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Army kicked off its first-ever Army Week-Pittsburgh with an opening ceremony and expo May 4 at the city's Point State Park.
The kickoff event included performances by the 28th Infantry Division Army Band and the U.S. Army Drill Team, Army vehicle and equipment displays, and remarks from several senior Army leaders.
"We're very appreciative of all the support from this great state, this great nation, and the great city of Pittsburgh," said Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer, commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve's 99th Readiness Division.
Army Week--Pittsburgh is a Total Army community outreach effort to connect the Pittsburgh community and its citizens with the Army they haven't met yet -- including active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve.
"You have Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers living in your community, but Soldiers from all Army components come from your communities," Palzer said, adding that there are nearly 9,000 Army Reserve Soldiers serving in Pennsylvania.
"The Pennsylvania Army National Guard is over 14,000 strong, Army men and women defending not only the commonwealth, but our nation," said Maj. Gen. Timothy Hilty, assistant adjutant general for the Pennsylvania National Guard.
The overall goal of Army Week-Pittsburgh is to increase the public's awareness and understanding of the opportunities within the U.S. Army. Studies show that 50 percent of America's youth know little to nothing about the Army, and only one percent of the nation's population currently serves in uniform.
The Army offers qualified recruits 150 career options -- nearly all of which correlate to civilian professions -- as well as tuition assistance for Soldiers and their Family members, sign-up bonuses up to $40,000, comprehensive healthcare, and retirement benefits.
"Thirty-three years ago, right up there on the bluffs of Duquesne [University] I was commissioned as a second lieutenant," said Pittsburgh-native Brig. Gen. Duane Miller, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. "[Without your support] I couldn't be where I am today."
Upcoming Army Week events throughout the city include:
• The U.S. Army's Adventure Trailer outside the Pirates game at PNC Park on Federal Street (game starts at 1:35 p.m.)
• The Army salutes the runners on Marathon Day
• Army Medicine Symposium at the Center for Military Medicine Research at the University of Pittsburgh with sessions running from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Please RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-your-army-symposium- tickets-59545475119
• The U.S. Army at the Pirates game as the Black Daggers -- the U.S. Army's Special Operations Parachute Demonstration Team -- jump in to PNC Park (game starts at 7:05 p.m.
Visit https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/ArmyWeek2019 for the latest Army news products highlighting Army Week-Pittsburgh.