FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (June 18, 2009) - Spouses and children joined service members and civilians for a three-mile run and cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Army birthday June 12 at the Frontier Conference Center.

"It's a great thing to do for our 234th anniversary," said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. "It's who we are and what we do."

Leading the massive formation on the run were CAC and Fort Leavenworth 2009 Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Sgt. Jovan Luna and Spc. Thomas Rincon. Luna carried the Army flag, and Rincon carried the CAC flag.

Several children ran the entire three-mile course, while others rode scooters or were pushed in strollers by their parents.

"I've never done three miles," said 11-year-old Ariel Singh, daughter of Intermediate Level Education class 2009-02 student Maj. Robi Singh. Ariel said she had a good time and would do it again next year.

A brief ceremony followed the run, during which CAC Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Johndrow spoke about 2009 as the Army's 234th birthday and the Year of the NCO. Three Soldiers spoke about why they were each proud to be an American Soldier.

Johndrow, the post's most senior NCO, then cut the birthday cake with the help of the youngest Soldier, 18-year-old Pvt. Brendan Hagens of the 291st Military Police Company, 40th MP Internment and Resettlement Battalion, and the youth who were present. The cake featured several designs in recognition of the Year of the NCO, including all the NCO ranks.
The Army's official birthday was June 14.