Team Jackson celebrated the start of Victory Week with a golf tournament June 3 and continued throughout the weekend with the Thunder motorcycle ride June 4 and an early morning post-wide run.
“It is a great morning, I think the weather gods are being good for us today,” shouted Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commanding general before the start of the post-wide run. “Fort Jackson was created 105 years ago. One of 32 camps, posts and stations in the southeast United States all designed to train Soldiers to prepare for World War I.”
Sitting among 53,000 acres, Camp Jackson was established in 1917 when it trained men of the 30th and 81st Infantry Division. In 1940, the camp became a permanent Army garrison and was renamed Fort Jackson. Throughout the years, the installation continued as a training post for various division until being appointed as a U.S. Army Training Center in 1973.
Today, Fort Jackson continues its historic beginnings of initial military training by producing 50% of all Soldiers and 60% of the women who enter the Army each year.
“This is your legacy and what we are celebrating,” Michaelis said. “Today is also the 78th anniversary of the battle of D-Day, the largest amphibious landing on the planet in our time. Think about the 4th Infantry Division that was trained here during World War II and landed at Utah Beach. Think about the sacrifices of men and women to make the nation what it is today.”
“This is why we are here today. This is what we do,” he continued. “So, let’s honor them with a small run today, lets honor them with feats of strength on the field.”
As morning reveille finished, Michaelis along with Post Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier and guest country music artist Travis Denning set off on Jackson Boulevard to begin the post-wide run.
Denning visited the installation to film a TV show named “Inside the Base” that is part of a series featuring up and coming musicians and the military installations they tour. Denning toured the installation and gave trainees an acoustic mini concert at Hilton Field in addition to helping celebrate Victory Week.
“That was early,” said Denning of the run. “I had fun.”
Through the week, Soldiers, civilians, and their Families are invited to attend a variety of events to celebrate the post’s heritage. Sports competition, an organization day, ball, cake cutting and special appearance by the Army’s Golden Knights are planned.
“Here we are 105 years later,” Michaelis said. “(Fort Jackson) has become the center of the Army when it comes to training and developing leaders. Many of you standing here today are part of that tradition. Let’s have a great day. Victory …, Starts Here.”