Fort Stewart soldiers near and far celebrated the U.S. Army’s 235th birthday earlier this week.Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton, along with Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James Irvin, Rear Detachment Commander Col. Christopher Love and Rear Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Ashmen, used two sabers to cut the Army’s June birthday cake Monday inside an air-conditioned Marne Museum on Fort Stewart.
Milton said the U.S. Army was born in 1775, one year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He said America’s Army is different than the armies of other nations for two reasons. One, service men and women are "the best and the brightest." And two, the U.S. Army does not protect a monarch or president, Milton said.
"Our soldiers take a sworn oath to uphold the ideals of our constitution," the garrison commander said.
Deployed 3rd ID soldiers celebrated the Army’s summertime birth with a number of activities — including a brigade run in Iraq’s desert heat.
"Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 3rd ID gathered at Contingency Operating Station Falcon to start (the Army’s) birthday celebration with a brigade run this morning," Maj. Vinston Porter Jr. said in an e-mail Monday. "It’s 122 degrees today, but Saturday’s high temp was 131."
More than 200 soldiers from Task Force Marne celebrated the Army’s 235th birthday at Contingency Operating Base Speicher on Sunday, due to historical events taking place in Iraq on Monday.
"Now you might be sitting there thinking, ‘But sir, you’re a day early. Tomorrow is the Army’s birthday,’ and you’d be right," 3rd ID Commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo told his deployed troops Sunday. "I scheduled it today because tomorrow is a special day for Iraq, a day in which you all can take personal, quiet pride. Tomorrow is the first seating of the newly elected council of representatives."
To commemorate the Army’s rich past, soldiers from the communications section and the Division Special Troops Battalion color guard attached 178 campaign streamers to the Army flag, while a brief history of each conflict was given.
"We are celebrating our traditions, what makes us special and different," Cucolo said. "We are celebrating the self-sacrifice of others over the last 235 years. All 178 battle streamers on the Army colors represent the lives lost and the willingness again to go above and beyond for others. We must pass this tradition on."
Deployed soldiers enjoyed birthday cake as well as a barbecue and live music performed by Task Force Marne’s rock band Sasquatch.
Sgt. Johnathon Jobson of Task Force Marne Public Affairs contributed to this report.