By Hiro Chang, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsJune 7, 2010
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - More than 450 Presidio of Monterey community members and guests supported the 229th Military Intelligence BattalionAca,!a,,cs celebration of the Army's 235th birthday during a ball in Seaside, Calif., June 5.
The 229th Military Intelligence Battalion commander, Lt. Col. David P. Jewell, explained that the ball is a tradition that goes back to June 14, 1775, and said that it was a good opportunity for the POM Soldiers, the majority of whom are also new to the military, to experience attending a formal event.
Jewell also said it was nice to dress up and just Aca,!A"talk about ourselves with the rest of the community for a while.Aca,!A?
The guest speaker, 91st Training Brigade Commanding General Brig. Gen. James T. Cook, spoke during the formal portion of the event.
The theme for this year's ball, Aca,!A"A History of the Army in Monterey,Aca,!A? was engaged with centerpieces from the 229thAca,!a,,cs companies, with Company A taking first place with a depiction of the 3rd Infantry Division's (the Rock of the Marne) use of Fort Ord as a staging area during World War II to the division's multiple conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The event organizers chose the local theme prior to the Army naming its theme: Celebrating the Strength of the nation, Jewell said.
Organizers kept the local theme to Aca,!A"recognize something local,Aca,!A? Jewell said, explaining that Aca,!A"this area has a lot of Army history that some may not realize. So itAca,!a,,cs good to remember.Aca,!A?
Jewell also said it was important to know the area is still an Aca,!A"Army town,Aca,!A? with units dating back to 1902. Aca,!A"We are not a Fort Bragg or Fort Benning ... like a big Army town, so the impression is that Monterey isnAca,!a,,ct (an Army town). But I think the outside community knows that we are. And it is nice to let the Soldiers say that out loud once in a while.Aca,!A?
Also at the event, in true traditional fashion, was an Army birthday cake-cutting ceremony in which the youngest and oldest Soldiers in the battalion helped Jewell cut the cake. Coincidently, both Soldiers were from Company F.
It was pointed out that Pfc. Kayla Vancleave was born when President Bill Clinton was elected for his first term and that 1st Sgt. Thomas Finley was born when a gallon of gas was 22 cents a gallon.
Aca,!A"We have so many new Soldiers,Aca,!A? Jewell said, Aca,!A"and we wanted to show them a formal ball and make it fun, so as to leave them with a good (impression of) Army formal events.Aca,!A?