By Story by, Staff Sgt. John H. Johnson III 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public AffairsDecember 15, 2011
Honolulu -- Soldiers and Family members were treated to a lovely evening at the Marriot Resort and Spa in Honolulu for the annual Saint Barbara's Day Ball hosted by the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Shafter, HI. Thursday, Dec 8.
Throughout the evening the celebration included inducting Soldiers and Family members into the Honorable Order of St. Barbara, the Honorable Order of Molly Pitcher, and finally the Order of St. Martin Patriot Saint of the Quartermaster Branch.
The name Molly Pitcher can be traced back to the Revolutionary War. It happens to be a generic term used to describe women who supported men on the battlefield as they fought.
As a result, today the award is presented to the women who have voluntarily made great
contributions to air defenders across the planet by inducting them into the Honorable Order of St. Barbara and the Honorable Order of Molly Pitcher. The award not only honors the individual spouses but also recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of the loved ones of all the services.
This year the command honored the traditions of other soldiers within the quartermaster branch of the Army by awarding the Distinguish Order of Saint Martin silver medallion.
Saint Martin is the patron saint of the French Quartermaster Regiment because one day a lonely beggar came to him disrobed and hungry, so he cut his cloak in two with his own sword so that he may give it the man. During France's Middle Ages he was one of the most popular saints. Kings would ride with his cloak into battle to help ensure their victory.
The evening began on the linai of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, all guests were treated to a relaxing atmosphere of the beautiful downtown skyline. Also during this time the guests were given the opportunity to take professional photos and socialize with their fellow servicemembers of all Army branches that were invited to this special occasion.
The dinner began with the official placing of the colors ceremony for honoring the American flag, a prayer from Chaplain Col. Gary Norris, 94th AAMDC chaplain and a toast.
Their commanding general Brig. Gen. James H. Dickinson congratulated the Soldiers and Civilians for their hard work while serving within the command. Dickinson said, "I am extremely proud to be a part of this team of winners and warriors tonight as we celebrate our artillery heritage together."
Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance Mr. Riki Ellison, was also introduced by Dickinson, "It gives me pleasure to introduce to you, our guest of honor and speaker tonight, Mr. Riki Ellison, a true professional and a strong advocate for Missile Defense."
Dickinson also explained the meaning of the ball, "St. Barbara's Day is an annual event held to honor Soldiers, past and present, who embody the spirit of what it means to an air defender. It reminds us of our honored traditions that help to grow the Army spirit de corps and the spirit of camaraderie."
The ball was months of training and planning put together in order to properly accomplish their mission. Sgt. Chris Helms, G-3 attack operations explains, "We must have trained up for a week in order to make sure the color guard section of the ball went well. It felt good when everyone tells me I did a good job at the ball."
Throughout the evening the patrons of the ball were presented with special events and ceremonies, some which are heavily rooted in the traditions of the air defense community.
Throughout the event from the Grog ceremony to the video presentation the public affairs office worked hard to present multimedia presentations.
Staff Sgt. Michael Hoye, air operation command, Hickam Air Force Base said, "I love Johnson's video presentation from our public affairs section."
For some of the Soldiers this was their first time attending a military ball, passing on Army tradition and values to the newest generation of future leaders.
Spc. Danjelo Moore, G-6 signal support systems specialist said, "This was definitely my first time going to a military ball."
Moore has been in the Army for four years and has been to two duty stations. Moore said, "I gave the ball a nine out of 10 because the color guard was pretty sharp when they opened up to the ceremony."
The evening ended with the award presentations to these soldiers, families and friends of the 94th AAMDC and dancing.