By Lt. Col. Marck McCannJune 14, 2012
With a loud and thunderous, "Hooah," and a mighty, but controlled, swing of a 1902 cavalry saber replica, the U.S. Army War College cut a ceremonial cake and celebrated the Army's 237thBirthday by honoring Soldiers, veterans, and civilians and family members past and present today at the Army Heritage and Education Center.
"You are part of the A-Team for the world," said Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin, USAWC commandant, to a gathering of Carlisle Barracks community members and visitors at the ceremony. "Thank you all for being a part of our great Army."
Martin, who was joined in the cake cutting by World War II veteran Perry Morse, the Army's 2012 Child of the Year, Amelia McConnell, and Carlisle Barracks' Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter, Sgt. Charles Posey III, paid tribute to the courage and valor of Soldiers past and present, and thanked families and members of the total Army team.
"The Army is people, uniformed service members, civilians, families, veterans and retirees," said Martin. "Once you are in the Army, you are in the Army for life."
He also paid tribute to the Army's total commitment to the nation, both during times of war and in peace.
"What you don't see between those battle streamers on the Army flag are the actions of Soldiers who have done great things for the country outside of war -- from disaster relief to humanitarian assistance efforts," said Martin.
Morse, who served as a tail gunner on a B-24 bomber crew and who flew on 35 missions over occupied Europe during World War II, reflected on his time in the service and talked about being so close to the action. He even recounted one time how he was hit by a can of Spam during a mission, and how his commander joked that such a "wound" would not quite earn him a Purple Heart.
But Morse, who was only 19 when he entered the service and retired from the National Guard as a Technical Sergeant, when reflecting on what got him through the war, he simply said, ""The good Lord was with me. The Lord and all of my mother's prayers."
Posey, the youngest Soldier present, when asked about what the Army birthday means to him said, "This reminds me about the start of something bigger than me, something bigger than all of us. This helps us remember how it all started. I am proud to serve."
The celebration also included Dr. Michael Neiberg, a professor of history in the War College's Department of National Security and Strategy, who talked about the Army on the eve of its entry into World War I.