Fort Detrick celebrated the United States Army’s 247th birthday June 14, in the installation headquarters, building 810. Hosted by Col. Victor Suarez, commander of the 6th Medical Logistics Management Center, the event began with a stellar performance by Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Coombs of the U.S. Army Field Band who sang the national anthem.
This year the guest speaker was Deputy 1st Class Brian Stocks of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department who spoke about his service in the Maryland National Guard, brotherhood, service and the Army Core Values which he lives by today.
“The teamwork, camaraderie, life skills, weapons training, first aid, physical fitness tests, sense of honor, duty and commitment to country I experienced in the Army made me a better Deputy today. I’ve taken those important lessons and applied them not only to my professional career but in my family and personal life as well. As a leader in my home, I use those same principles I learned from the Army to help me be a better father, husband and grandfather today,” said Stocks.
The event closed with the ceremonial cake cutting with the oldest and youngest Soldier at Fort Detrick. This year Col. Fernando Guerena, age 64 and Spc. Katherine Belovarac, age 20, both of the US Army Medical Research and Development Command were identified for those categories.
The Army is one of the oldest institutions in our country. Born on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress established it, the Army is a year older than the Declaration of Independence and 13 years older than the Constitution.
The numerals that make up this year's birthday – 2, 4 and 7 – are significant for two reasons. First, because the Army has existed for 247 years. And second, because the Army is there to defend our nation 24/7. In fact, “Defending America 24/7” is the theme of this year's birthday celebration.
For 247 years the U.S. Army has answered the call to defend and support America against both foreign and domestic challenges, and will continue to do so in the future. Any day, at any time, anywhere and anyhow, the U.S. Army is always on call to defend America, 24/7.
Thank you U.S. Army for answering the call to serve America since 1775.