Fort Sill will celebrate the Army's 234th birthday Monday with a ceremony in conjunction with Flag Day.

The theme for this year's mid-June celebration is "America's Army: The Strength of the Nation." The tag line is "Noncommissioned Officers: The strength of the Army."

"The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in front on McNair Hall," said Jane Engemann, Directorate of Plans, Training, Moblization and Safety operating director. "Major General Vangjel will be presiding over the ceremony. There will be a big birthday cake, which Vangjel and the youngest Soldier from the 434th will cut and hand out."

In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be at Rinehart Fitness Center.

Child, Youth and School Services, Outreach Services/Central Registration office will help celebrate the Army 234th birthday Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They will serve cake and punch and pass out Sammy the Army Dog storybooks.

Other activities, which are not open to the public, are Tuesday through June 19.

Tuesday, Family Child Care will hold the birthday party at Ambrosia Springs Pavilion from 9:30 to 11 a.m. with party games and the reading of the Army Birthday book to children. If books arrive on time, they will be distributed to FCC providers to include in their plans for the week.

June 18, at Tincher Child Development Center, a reader will read to preschool classes. Special activities for the week include cupcakes for each room to decorate, birthday and celebration weekly themes for classrooms, banners will be made as art projects reflecting the Army's 234th birthday, preschool field trips to various locations on the installation and children will make "Happy Birthday Army" cards to present to the military guests at the celebrations.

Also June 18, a School Age Services person will read the Army Birthday book to kindergarten and first graders at 4:30 p.m. Cake and punch will be available for all children and parents that afternoon.

At Youth Services, the cooking club will bake cakes June 18. They will be decorated and the birthday celebrated June 19.

According to the Army Web site, Army Strong goes beyond physical endurance and mental preparedness and encompasses an indomitable spirit and high ethical and moral values.

These are not only desirable traits in a person, but in a nation that wishes to live up to the ideals and vision of its founders.

Army Senior Leadership designated 2009 the Year of the Noncommissioned Officer.

The Army birthday is an opportunity to emphasize and celebrate the contributions, past and present, of noncommissioned officers. Noncommissioned officers are the strength of the Army and the glue that holds America's Army together.