Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general (fourth from the right on the stage), and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena (foreground, right) cheer on Soldiers during a division-style Army Birthday run Tuesday morning that started on Gammon Field. More than 6,000 service members participated in the three-mile run.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general (fourth from the right on the stage), and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena (foreground, right) cheer on Soldiers during a division-style Army Birthday run Tuesday morning that started on Gammon Field. More than 6,000 service members participated in the three-mile run. (Photo Credit: Photo by Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL
Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general (second from left), and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena (second from right) participate in a traditional Army cake-cutting ceremony Tuesday in the Hoge Hall foyer as part of Fort Leonard Wood's Army Birthday celebrations. Two cakes were set out, and this year, the longest- and shortest-tenured Army civilians on Fort Leonard Wood joined Bonner in cutting one cake, while the oldest and youngest Soldiers on Fort Leonard Wood joined Delapena in cutting the second cake. The longest-tenured Army civilian was David Kane from the Directorate of Public Works (left), and Kirra Reddick (third from left), from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, was the shortest-tenured Army civilian. The oldest Soldier was U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Walter Marshall (third from right), and the youngest Soldier was Pvt. Karter Gil (right), from Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general (second from left), and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena (second from right) participate in a traditional Army cake-cutting ceremony Tuesday in the Hoge Hall foyer as part of Fort Leonard Wood's Army Birthday celebrations. Two cakes were set out, and this year, the longest- and shortest-tenured Army civilians on Fort Leonard Wood joined Bonner in cutting one cake, while the oldest and youngest Soldiers on Fort Leonard Wood joined Delapena in cutting the second cake. The longest-tenured Army civilian was David Kane from the Directorate of Public Works (left), and Kirra Reddick (third from left), from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, was the shortest-tenured Army civilian. The oldest Soldier was U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Walter Marshall (third from right), and the youngest Soldier was Pvt. Karter Gil (right), from Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion. (Photo Credit: Photo by Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers attending the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence NCO Academy lower the flag during a Retreat ceremony Tuesday in the MSCoE Plaza as part of Fort Leonard Wood's Army Birthday celebrations.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers attending the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence NCO Academy lower the flag during a Retreat ceremony Tuesday in the MSCoE Plaza as part of Fort Leonard Wood's Army Birthday celebrations. (Photo Credit: Photo by Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood service members and civilians participated in events near and far this week, in celebration of the Army’s 247th birthday.

While most of the events occurred on Tuesday — the anniversary of the formation of the Continental Army by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 — there were plenty of opportunities to celebrate throughout the week just a couple hours’ drive from Fort Leonard Wood. Army Week St. Louis events included an air show and science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — expo, in addition to an event with the St. Louis Cardinals in and around Busch Stadium and forums at the Missouri Athletic Club and the St. Louis University School of Medicine.

On Saturday and Sunday at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri, air show attendees were able to speak with Soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood’s 763rd Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), who brought robots and bomb disposal suits as part of the STEM expo attached to the event.

“The highlight from the event was our Soldiers not only being able to tell their Army story but shedding light on what EOD does and what we provide to the Army,” said Capt. Tarik Jensen, 763rd Ordnance Company commander.

Tuesday’s events began before dawn on post, with a division-style birthday run, that started on Gammon Field. More than 6,000 service members participated in the three-mile run.

Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, led the event alongside MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena. When they completed their run, they cheered on the other runners.

“When you see those 6,000 men and women, who are serving something larger than themselves — their country — it is amazing to watch,” Bonner said afterward. “I thank all the regiments, all the units, our sister services – Marines, Air Force and Navy were all out there. I thank them again for their contribution to service here at Fort Leonard Wood.”

Later that morning, an Army Birthday golf scramble took place at the Piney Valley Golf Course.

Seventeen four-person teams competed in a nine-hole tournament, with the top-scoring team finishing with a 27, which is nine under par at PVGC.

“I was very concerned there would be a cloud out there,” Bonner later jokingly said, referring to the bright, blue sky and hot, humid temperature on the day.

A traditional Army cake-cutting ceremony took place in the afternoon in the Hoge Hall foyer. Two cakes were set out, and this year, the longest- and shortest-tenured Army civilians on Fort Leonard Wood joined Bonner in cutting one cake, while the oldest and youngest Soldiers on Fort Leonard Wood joined Delapena in cutting the second cake. The longest-tenured Army civilian was David Kane from the Directorate of Public Works, and Kirra Reddick, from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, was the shortest-tenured Army civilian. The oldest Soldier was U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Walter Marshall, and the youngest Soldier was Pvt. Karter Gil, from Company B, 35th Engineer Battalion.

Before cutting the cakes, Bonner and Delapena shared some remarks with the attendees.

“I thank the Fort Leonard Wood community,” Bonner said. “There’s no better place to serve than right here.”

“We stand on the shoulders of some giants that came before us and mentored everybody in this room to this day,” Delapena added. “For that, Happy Birthday to our Army.”

The cake cutting was followed by a 399th Army Band concert and a Retreat ceremony on MSCoE Plaza.

Before attendees of the MSCoE NCO Academy lowered the flag, 10 Soldiers marched into position on the plaza in period uniforms, from the Revolutionary War to the present. Bonner remarked that Soldiers have stood prepared to face uncertainties and challenges throughout the nation’s history.

“Today, Soldiers and civilians remain ready to continue to meet the uncertainty by building cohesive teams that are trained, fit and disciplined,” he said. “We are the best prepared and most adapted Army in the world, and it’s because time and time again, our teammates have been willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to care for one another and complete the mission.”

Tuesday at Ballpark Village in downtown St. Louis featured static displays from Fort Leonard Wood’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear, Engineer and Military Police regiments, along with the 399th Army Band’s Rough Riders rock band.

One of the Soldiers in attendance was Staff Sgt. Savanna St. Germaine, a drill sergeant with Company A, 787th Military Police Battalion. She called it a great community builder.

“Overall, I think it went well,” she said. “It was a good event to show everyone what military policing capabilities are. I think it definitely put our name out there.”

St. Germaine said many of the visitors to the MP booth were Future Soldiers with questions about the MP Corps and young children, who seemed to enjoy donning the MP equipment.

“We’d put the Military Police vest on them and they’d take pictures in the gear,” she said.

The final Army Birthday event here took place this morning, when the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted a 5K fun run/walk that started and finished near Daugherty Bowling Center.

Speaking just before the start of the event, Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, thanked everyone for sharing in the Army Birthday celebrations.

“Whether you’re here as a Soldier, or whether you’re here as one of our civilians, or you’re here as a family member, thank you for being part of this — being part of our success, our history and our heritage,” he said.

More than 60 service members, civilians and family members participated, including Sgt. Devron Snead, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Engineer Brigade, who crossed the finish line first, with a time of 19:57.

“I feel like it’s very uplifting,” he said of the week’s events. “All of us, from all the different regiments, all the (military occupational specialties) can come together and celebrate one of the most important birthdays in American history.”

More photos from the Army Birthday celebration here are available on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.