Army Forces Command honors 50th anniversary with birthday salute

By FORSCOM Public AffairsJune 30, 2023

U.S. Army Forces Command saluted its 50th anniversary and the tens of thousands of Soldiers, veterans and employees who have served with FORSCOM since the command’s creation on July 1, 1973. The golden anniversary birthday cake-cutting ceremony June 30 at Fort Liberty, N.C., also recognized the 50th anniversary of the All-Volunteer Force.

U.S. Army Forces Command saluted its 50th anniversary and the tens of thousands of Soldiers, veterans and employees who have served with FORSCOM since the command’s creation on July 1, 1973. The golden anniversary birthday cake-cutting ceremony June 30 at Fort Liberty, N.C., also recognized the 50th anniversary of the All-Volunteer Force.
U.S. Army Forces Command saluted its 50th anniversary and the tens of thousands of Soldiers, veterans and employees who have served with FORSCOM since the command’s creation on July 1, 1973. The golden anniversary birthday cake-cutting ceremony June 30 at Fort Liberty, N.C., also recognized the 50th anniversary of the All-Volunteer Force. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Today, our Army is unmatched in its leadership, values and capability,” said Army Maj. Gen. Shane Buzza, the U.S. Army Forces Command Chief of Staff. “It is a source of pride for Americans everywhere. Those in uniform choose to serve our Nation proudly, and embody the Army values.”

The birthday cake-cutting ceremony featured Soldiers and employees, as well as music by the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Band’s Woodwind Quintet under the direction of Sergeant Bobby Berg. FORSCOM Public Affairs’ Sgt. Maj. Randy Randolph and long-serving civilian employee Ed Cartee joined Buzza to cut the birthday cake.

“Wherever and however you have trained and fought within Forces Command … we are proud of the work you do, and we’re proud of what you stand for,” said Gen. Andrew Poppas, FORSCOM commanding general, in a message to the force. “We want to wish you and this entire command a Happy 50th!  Your teammates and predecessors built the strong legacy we stand on today … and we are carrying that legacy toward an even stronger, more modern, and more ready fighting force for the future. Freedom’s Guardian!”

Maj. Gen. Shane Buzza, the U.S. Army Forces Command Chief of Staff, provides remarks at the FORSCOM 50th Birthday cake-cutting ceremony, Friday, June 30.
Maj. Gen. Shane Buzza, the U.S. Army Forces Command Chief of Staff, provides remarks at the FORSCOM 50th Birthday cake-cutting ceremony, Friday, June 30. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Formed in World War II, Army Ground Forces was the largest training organization ever established in the United States. Its strength of 780,000 troops on May 1, 1942, grew and nearly tripled to a peak of 2.2 million Soldiers by July 1, 1943 … 80 years ago.

During the post-war reorganization of the War Department, Army Ground Forces became Army Field Forces in 1948, then Continental Army Command (CONARC) in 1955, and was ultimately divided into U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command in 1973.

TRADOC also commemorated its 50th anniversary June 30, 2023, with a ceremony at their Fort Eustis, Va., headquarters. Today FORSCOM works to synchronize its mission not only with TRADOC, but new organizations such as Army Futures Command.

“Forces Command’s legacy is built on our history and displayed in the dedication, courage and heroism of the American Soldier,” Buzza said. “As we go forward, I’m proud to say that any day at anytime, anywhere and anyhow, U.S. Army Forces Command is always ready to defend America with our all-volunteer force.”

“Please join us in reflecting on the past five decades of hard training, service, and sacrifice in defense of our nation,” FORSCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims said in a pre-recorded message. “We’ve got 732,000 Soldiers and Civilians on the FORSCOM team … and even though most of them don’t wear our headquarters insignia, we are all connected through shared missions and common values.”

FORSCOM Public Affairs’ Sgt. Maj. Randy Randolph (right) and long-serving civilian employee Ed Cartee (left) joined Maj. Gen. Shane Buzza, the U.S. Army Forces Command Chief of Staff, to cut the birthday cake. FORSCOM celebrated it's 50th Anniversary during a cake-cutting ceremony Friday, June 30.
FORSCOM Public Affairs’ Sgt. Maj. Randy Randolph (right) and long-serving civilian employee Ed Cartee (left) joined Maj. Gen. Shane Buzza, the U.S. Army Forces Command Chief of Staff, to cut the birthday cake. FORSCOM celebrated it's 50th Anniversary during a cake-cutting ceremony Friday, June 30. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The mission of the Army Ground Forces, as stated by the War Department in Circular 59, March 2, 1942, was: "to provide ground force units properly organized, trained and equipped for combat operations."  The command’s mission today remains similar: “FORSCOM trains and prepares a combat-ready, globally responsive Total Force to build and sustain readiness to meet Combatant Command requirements.”

On 1 July 1, 1973, during the post-Vietnam Operation STEADFAST reorganization of the U.S. Army, Forces Command and Training and Doctrine Command were created from Continental Army Command, according to Army historian Jeffrey Miller.

Since that time, FORSCOM has been responsible for the training and readiness of all conventional active and Reserve Army units within the continental United States, while also overseeing the training of Army National Guard units. To this day, FORSCOM Soldiers wear the former Army Ground Forces' shoulder-sleeve insignia.

Also 50 years ago in 1973, the U.S. Army became an all-volunteer force. So, instead of drafting young Americans to fill the ranks, the Army relied exclusively on volunteers.

“Forces Command’s legacy is built on our history and displayed in the dedication, courage and heroism of the American Soldier,” Buzza said. As we go forward, I’m proud to say that any day at anytime, anywhere and anyhow, U.S. Army Forces Command is always on call to defend America with our all-volunteer force.”