By Staff Sgt. Rauel Tirado
Third Army/ARCENT Public Affairs

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Servicemembers, civilians and the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings' cheerleaders were on hand to celebrate Third Army's 93rd birthday with a 5K run/walk here Nov. 7.

Third Army was established Nov. 7, 1918 at Chaumont, France. Throughout its longstanding history, it has been part of many major campaigns to include World War I, World War II, Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and now New Dawn.

"We have a great history in Third Army," said Brig. Gen. Thomas Horlander, Third Army/ARCENT director of resource management and Tacoma, Wash. native. "Soldiers should be proud of this opportunity to participate in celebrating 93 years of Third Army history and tradition."

After Brig. Gen. Horlander's speech a cake cutting ceremony was held to commemorate Third Army's birthday.

Pfc. Luis Hendershot, Third Army/ARCENT, Special Troops Battalion supply clerk and Corpus Christi, Texas native, and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ralph Rigby, Third Army/ARCENT theater maintenance officer and Auburn, N.Y. native, joined Horlander in cutting the Third Army birthday cake.

Once the cake was cut, the Minnesota Vikings' cheerleaders came to the front and were introduced to the crowd. Some cheered for the participants while others ran in the event.

"It was awesome to run with men and women of the military," said Kaylee, Minnesota Vikings' cheerleader and Mankato, Minn. native. "I'm so impressed on how many people came out to run. We're so happy to be participating with everyone and showing our support."

Kaylee said it was a neat experience having Servicemembers thanking her and fellow cheerleaders for being here, as well as meeting Vikings' fans.

"I was surprised to see them here and run with us," said Spc. Kevin Ehlers, 188th Engineer Company carpenter and masonry specialist with the North Dakota National Guard.

At the end of the run, several of the cheerleaders cheered for the runners as they crossed the finish line, while others volunteered to hand out Third Army birthday run T-shirts.

Third Army's commitment to the well-being of its Servicemembers and civilians remains a priority. Through events like the 5K run/walk, Third Army is honoring its 93 years of achievements while keeping troops physically fit to sustain the fight and shape the future.