By Spc. Amie J. McMillan, 10th Press Camp HeadquartersJune 14, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (June 14, 2102) -- Soldiers and civilians lined the balconies, as music from the Army Ground Forces Band filled the atrium in the United States Army Forces Command's (FORSCOM) Marshall Hall headquarters, all eager to celebrate the Army's 237th birthday, today.
Brig. Gen. Charles Flynn, FORSCOM's chief of staff, walked to the commands' colors lined displayed the wall, and held the Army Campaign streamers -- the colors of courage, representing every battle fought by U.S. Soldiers since 1775.
"These colors here, these streamers on these colors, and the ones that are being earned today, in each one of these streamers, is blood. People gave their lives in each one of these battles to defend freedom and to defend values, and basically defend the rights which we enjoy the fruits of everyday, and our families enjoy the fruits of, he said. "It really is a reflection of the great value that the Army provides to the country, but more importantly, the Soldiers, the noncommissioned officers, the officers, and the civilian leadership which has provided each of these battle streamers. They are still being earned and still very costly to this nation. The sacrifices that have been made over 237 years by Soldiers and [their] families, and the great civilians that support us, it can't go lost on a day like today when we're celebrating 237 years of existence."
The Soldiers, families and civilians who make up this organization are the reason the Army has stood so strong for 237 years. Every year the Army grows stronger, and this gives those serving or who have served, more of a reason to celebrate its service to our nation.
"Birthdays are a recalling of where we came from and how we started, so that in itself is very important," said Lt. Col. Mark Purdy, who commands the FORSCOM/U.S. Army Reserve Command Special Troops Battalion. "We began this long tradition, 237 years ago, that what is today the greatest Army in the entire world. The Army really embodies what it means to be a patriot, and as its theme, the Army is definitely the strength of the nation,"
In following years of Army tradition, Flynn and Command Sergeant Major Darrin Bohn, FORSCOM's senior enlisted Soldier, called up the youngest and oldest Soldiers in the headquarters to participate in the celebratory cake cutting. The two Soldiers were Sgt. Meghan Berry, a broadcast specialist assigned to the 10th Press Camp Headquarters, who born in 1991, and Chaplain (Col.) Ron Hill, deputy command chaplain, born in 1954
"I'm always really proud of being in the Army. I've only been in three years, but I plan on being in for quite a while. The Army's important to me, it's my life," Berry said.
From Fort Sumter through the Ardennes, and into Afghanistan, the Army has a long history of shedding blood and sweat through its many battles.
"We celebrate on this day, the freedom that we as Americans enjoy as the result of our national resolve to stand for what is right and to commit as an Army, to be ready to respond to the call of duty," said Chaplain (Col.) Michael T. Lembke, the FORSCOM command chaplain, during the invocation.
The audience joined in affirming that commitment by singing "Happy Birthday" to the Army just before the cake was cut with a ceremonial saber, and bringing the event to a close with a rendition of The Army Song.