BETTENDORF, Iowa - The annual Army Birthday Ball was held on Friday, June 17, at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center.
Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command, hosted the annual Army Birthday Ball, attended by the Rock Island Arsenal community and its neighbors.
The evening began with a social hour and receiving line, enabling guests to meet and greet ASC leaders and distinguished guests. The mistress of ceremonies was Col. Regina Draper, ASC, and the invocation was provided by ASC Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Charles Rizer.
A streamer ceremony was performed by officers and non-commissioned officers. This ceremony consisted of NCOs passing streamers to officers, who in-turn affixed the streamer to the flag of the United States Army. This ceremony signifies the traditions of the Army, as 183 streamers represented over 25 million veterans, their sacrifice and their families’ commitment to freedom. The national anthem and patriotic medley were performed by the Davenport West High School choir following the ceremony.
Before dinner was served, colors were posted and toasts were raised. The toasts honored the commander-in-chief, our community and fallen comrades, among others. A Fallen Comrade Table was set and the first piece of the Army Birthday Cake was placed by Fontaine, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen D. Blake and Gold Star family members.
The guest speaker for the evening was retired Maj. Gen. John Scully, civilian aide, Secretary of the Army - Illinois. The official ceremonies concluded with singing of the Army Song and retiring of the colors. Music and dancing continued ‘til the midnight hour.
Since its establishment on June 14, 1775, the United States Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of our nation. The Army Birthday Ball is designed to honor the proud history and heritage of America’s Army and to celebrate the Army’s 236th birthday.