Fort McCoy News June 28, 2013

Fort McCoy celebrates 238th birthday of the Army

BY ROB SCHUETTE
Public Affairs Staff

Military and civilian members of the Fort McCoy community gathered at Constitution Park June 13 to help observe the 238th birthday of the Army.

PHOTO 1 for Army Birthday story
Past and present servicemembers help cut the ceremonial cake during an
Army Birthday celebration at Fort McCoy. From left to right were Joe Kessenich,
a World War II veteran; Richard Patridge, a Vietnam veteran; Col. Audrey Lewis,
the oldest servicemember present, and the Staff Judge Advocate; Sgt. Brian
Faulkner, the youngest servicemember present, from the Army Medical
Department student detachment; and Lee Rogers, a Korean veteran.

Photo by Jobi Spolum

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott was the guest speaker. He noted in addition to the Army Birthday, Flag Day also is celebrated June 14. Another key historical date in June for the installation community was the observance of Fort McCoy's 104th birthday as an installation.

"Our Army remains the guarantor of hope and freedom," Nott said. "It has carried, and continues to carry, our nation's colors into battle, so that liberty may prevail. It is most appropriate to celebrate its birth."

Nott also read a passage from the proclamation signed by President Obama recognizing the Army's Birthday. The Army was founded in 1775 before the U.S. was officially a country. The first official national flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes, was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

"Since then, our Army has carried our nation's colors and celebrated its birthday in scores of locations, including intense and costly combat in Iraq," Nott said. "And let us remember as we enjoy our cook out in the safe confines of Constitution Park, that many of our brothers and sisters continue to celebrate the Army's birthday under the harsh conditions in Afghanistan."

Five Soldiers or former Soldiers were chosen to help cut the ceremonial Army Birthday cake during the celebration at Constitution Park. They were Joe Kessenich, representing World War II veterans; Lee Rogers, representing Korea veterans; Richard Patridge, representing Vietnam veterans; Col. Audrey Lewis, the oldest servicemember present, and the Staff Judge Advocate; and Sgt. Brian Faulkner, the youngest servicemember present, from the Army Medical Department student detachment.

PHOTO 2 for Army Birthday story
Members of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and
Recreation staff serve a complimentary breakfast during the Fort McCoy
celebration of the Army's birthday. Other events during the day included a 5K
run and free bowling.
Contributed photo

The Constitution Park celebration included a luncheon, and was one of a number of free events put on by the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) under the Commercial Sponsorship program. Other activities included the Commander's 5K run, a drive-through breakfast and free bowling. In the Commander's 5K run, installation runners attempted to beat the time of Capt. Matthew Wright, the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Fort McCoy U.S. Army Garrison. Twelve runners posted faster times.

Army Birthday event sponsors included Culvers; LHI-Logistics Health Incorporated; A.L.M. Charities; USAA; Oshkosh Defense; the University of Phoenix, Military Division; Buffalo Wild Wings; Alliant Energy; American Family Insurance; Chippewa Spring Water; RIA Federal Credit Union; TCI Architects, Engineers, and Contractor; Reinhart Food Service; McDonald's; and Gundersen Health Systems. No federal endorsement is implied.

For more information about DFMWR events, call the Event Line at 877-864-4969 or visit the website www.mccoymwr.com.

PHOTO 3 for Army Birthday story
Attendees at the Army Birthday celebration at Constitution Park enjoy the free lunch following the cake-cutting ceremony. Photo by Rob Schuette