June celebrates Army’s birthday, heritage
The Army’s Golden Knights parachute team participated in last year’s Army Birthday Celebration at Redstone Arsenal. The 248th Army Birthday Celebration is Saturday from 5-9 p.m. at Redstone Gateway. (Photo Credit: Skip Vaughn) VIEW ORIGINAL

During Army Heritage Month in June, this nation pauses to thank and honor those who have served in the Army over the past 248 years. They stayed the course and worked together as a team defend our nation.

In May 2019, the secretary of the Army approved Army Directive 2019-20 implementing Army Heritage Month into the Army’s equal opportunity program. The directive applies to the active Army, National Guard and Reserve. It established June as Army Heritage Month, centered around the Army birthday on June 14. The Army was founded in 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of expert riflemen to serve in the American Continental Army.

Flag Day is also celebrated on June 14 to honor the U.S. flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption. Master Sgt. Ryant Bell, Army Materiel Command’s equal opportunity adviser and program manager, said honoring the Soldiers who had the courage to confront agony, danger, and uncertainty, especially in battle to serve our nation is key to celebrating Army Heritage Month.

He said the Army’s birthday has always been celebrated in June. However, this is only the fifth year since Army Heritage Month was added to the Army’s military equal opportunity program calendar of observances.

“We have a requirement to acknowledge Army Heritage Month,” Bell said. “Commanders of Army commands, Army service component commands, and direct reporting units will observe and conduct Army heritage and birthday activities during the month to recognize the service and sacrifices of a diverse Army and our long history of defending the nation and our national interests. The Army birthday celebration is the key event to celebrate Army Heritage Month on Redstone Arsenal.”

On Saturday, the Garrison’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will hold the 248th Army Birthday celebration at the Redstone Gateway, near Gate 9, from 5-9 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature a “Cruise-In” Car Show, craft vendors, kids’ zone, food trucks, fireworks, and music by local musicians.

The event is free and open to the public.

Redstone Senior Commander Lt. Gen. Chris Mohan will open the event with remarks and participate in a cake cutting ceremony with Garrison Commander Col. Brian Cozine.

Army Recruiting Company Huntsville 1st Sgt. James Smith said his team will have a table at the event and will celebrate Army Heritage Month by sharing information about the Army’s past and present. They will also give out Army “swag” items.

Bell said it’s important to celebrate the Army’s heritage to inspire the next generation of Soldiers who will serve our nation.

“Our Army’s people are our greatest strength,” Bell said. “We honor all our people for their longstanding courage to answer the call to service and make our communities better. We honor the commitment of service members and celebrate the Army’s time-honored traditions and heritage. Come out and support this event.”

For more information about Army Heritage Month, call 256-450-6575.