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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — This Wednesday, we celebrate the United States Army’s 248th birthday as part of Army Heritage Month. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress approved the formation of an army made up of the New England militias surrounding British-occupied Boston, and the recruiting of additional troops from the other colonies. The next day, Congress unanimously elected George Washington to serve as commander-in-chief of the newly formed Continental Army.

June 14 is also Flag Day, when the 13 colonies united under the same banner — the flag of the United States — in 1777.

For 248 years, the Army has served as America’s first line of defense. As the world’s premier land fighting force, our mission is to fight and win our nation’s wars and support the homeland. Our Soldiers are trained, disciplined and lethal — ready to meet the United States’ challenges, both foreign and domestic. Their diverse backgrounds and skill sets contribute to our success in every operational environment. The Army’s greatest assets are our people, so on June 14 we celebrate our Soldiers, civilians, retirees and their families.

Fort Leonard Wood has several events occurring next week to celebrate the Army’s birthday. At 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, service members will conduct an installation-wide run, starting from Gammon Field, and at 3:30 p.m., there will be a cake-cutting ceremony, followed by a concert by the 399th Army Band on the MSCoE Plaza. We will end the day at 4:30 p.m., with the lowering of the flag and the playing of “Retreat.” On June 15, the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex will host an open house for Army Heritage Month from 8 a.m. to noon, and at 1 p.m., the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will host an Army Heritage Golf Scramble at Piney Valley Golf Course.

We are incredibly proud to serve with all of you. Happy birthday, Army!

Victory Starts Here…Victory Through Skill!