Army celebrates 247 years of loyal service
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Col. Bonnie Kovatch (l to r), Staff Sgt. Bruno Valdez and Command Sgt. Maj. Julie Steward cut a birthday cake with a ceremonial sword at the Allied Forces North Battalion’s 247th Army Birthday celebration in Casteau, Belgium. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Army celebrates 247 years of loyal service
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Allied Forces South Battalion kicks off the 247th Army Birthday celebration with physical fitness training in Lago di Patria, Italy. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Army celebrates 247 years of loyal service
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Larry Haynes III, an Army Family member and son of Anita Haynes, HHC administrative support assistant, goes long for a touchdown during the ultimate Frisbee competition at the U.S. Army NATO Brigade’s 247th Army Birthday celebration in Sembach, Germany. (Photo Credit: Troy Darr) VIEW ORIGINAL
Army celebrates 247 years of loyal service
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Jemal Faison, a physical security specialist, tosses a bag during the cornhole competition at the U.S. Army NATO Brigade’s 247th Army Birthday celebration in Sembach, Germany. (Photo Credit: Troy Darr) VIEW ORIGINAL
Army celebrates 247 years of loyal service
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Brandon Robinson, secretary to the general staff, holds up the answer to a question during the trivia competition at the U.S. Army NATO Brigade’s 247th Army Birthday celebration in Sembach, Germany. (Photo Credit: Troy Darr) VIEW ORIGINAL

SEMBACH, Germany -- Soldiers, families and civilian employees from U.S. Army NATO Brigade took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the Army’s 247 years of loyal service to our nation with a day of sports and games during the Army birthday.

The Continental Congress created the Army on June 14, 1775, making the Army a year older than the Declaration of Independence and 13 years older than the Constitution.

“For 247 years the U.S. Army has answered the call to defend and support America against both foreign and domestic challenges, and we'll continue to do so in the future,” said Capt. Tessa Barbee, HHC, U.S. Army NATO Brigade, commander. “It’s important to celebrate the Army’s Birthday to honor the institution and its history, both in times of war and peace.”

“Because of the brigade’s unique mission, we have the opportunity to celebrate the Army throughout the European theater with our NATO partners,” she said. “Here at Sembach, our headquarters company chose to celebrate by partaking in a sports day where we have our diverse population get together to boost morale and build esprit de corps.”

The mission of U.S. Army NATO Brigade is to provide ready and resilient Soldiers to the NATO alliance by ensuring U.S. Army Soldiers and their families assigned to NATO billets receive the support they need to thrive in a variety of environments at 81 locations in 22 countries across Europe.

“The Army's global reach and our Soldiers' ability to conduct operations anywhere in the world play a large part in their ability to defend America 24/7,” said Barbee. “But today, you can find our Soldiers, our Army civilian employees, families, and friends together taking off a few well-earned hours to celebrate our Army.”

Lia Christie, an Army civilian employee with the U.S. Army NATO Brigade G1 section, spent the morning playing in a high-tempo, spirited ultimate Frisbee tournament.

“Today has been a great day to hang out here with my co-workers and fellow service members,” said Christie. “It’s been a great day for esprit de corps and to let our hair down and celebrate the Army’s 247th birthday.”

U.S. Soldiers work hard, train hard and, based on the day’s ultimate Frisbee tournament, play hard as well.

“We greatly appreciate the Army spouses, children and other family members for their contributions and sacrifices as their Soldiers train, and sometimes deploy, in order to defend our country,” said Barbee. “We are excited to have them with us today.”

Yuna Vazquez is an Army Family member and spouse of Capt. Brennan Vazquez, the U.S. Army NATO Brigade staff judge advocate.

“It’s great to be here spending good times with Soldiers who are working so hard all the time,” said Yuna. “Happy birthday to the Army for the 247th birthday.”

Marcela Melendez, an Army Family member and spouse of the HHC first sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Japhet Melendez, said she appreciates the opportunity to spend time with the unit.

“I like the community, very family oriented and the games and the team building are really good,” she said. “We just feel like part of a community.”

Soldiers, families and civilian employees from U.S. Army NATO Brigade took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the Army’s 247 years of loyal service to our nation with a day of sports and games June 14th at Sembach Kaserne in Germany.

Soldiers, families and civilian employees from U.S. Army NATO Brigade took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the Army’s 247 years of loyal service to our nation with a day of sports and games June 14th at Sembach Kaserne in Germany.

www.usanato.army.mil