FORT STEWART, Ga. - In 1775, even before the establishment
of the United States, Congress voted to establish an Army.
Granting them $2,000,000 and forming ten companies of
riflemen, the Army was thrown instantly into action during
the American Revolution. Today, two-hundred and thirty
seven years later, the Army has grown to over one million
Soldiers serving in more than 150 countries around the
To celebrate the history and future of the Army, Soldiers,
Family Members, and civilians gathered on Fort
Stewart's Cottrell Field for a ceremony and cake
cutting, June 14.
"Today we celebrate 237 years of America's
Army," said Third Infantry Division Commander Maj.
Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams. "It is more than a
celebration of our institution; it is a celebration of our
history, our heritage, and our people, and every man and
woman serving in uniform today are helping us write a new
chapter in our glorious history. Soldiers aren't in the
Army, Soldiers are the Army."
The celebration allowed a chance to reflect not only on the
history, but the current status of the Marne Division and
"[This year] is even more special because every
headquarters in the division is currently home," said
Third ID Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson. "This is the
first time in almost 10 years that all the brigade elements
are at home. However, some of our battalions and other
elements are overseas and we can never forget our Soldiers
in harm's way."
For the official cake cutting, a competition was held
between cooks from across Fort Stewart. The entry from
Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion took the
honors, with decorations referencing all the major
conflicts and Fallen Soldiers.
"I designed the cake, and did all the
decorations," said Spc. Cachmerie Cruz, a Cayey,
Puerto Rico, native with HHC, DHHB. "We don't get
to do this kind of thing often. I have been here for three
years, and I had never heard of this competition until this
year, so winning it felt great. It made me proud."
Assisting in the cake cutting with Maj. Gen. Abrams and
Command Sgt. Maj. Watson were the youngest and oldest
Soldiers within the division, Pvt. John Gilbert and Chief
Warrant Officer 5 Ray Noble.
"After being in the Army for almost 38 years, my
commitment to my country has never wavered," said
Warrant Officer 5 Noble, the senior maintenance technician
for the division. To be a part of the Army's birthday
is such a great honor and to understand the significance of
events like this; to recognize those who have given their
all to this country over the past 237 years."
A few civilians from the local area also attended to show
"I am a native of this area, started working here on
post in 1967 and retired after 30 plus years," said
Charlotte Webb, whose husband served in the military for
more than 30 years. "We have seen everything happen
around here from the old WWII buildings to what it is now,
and it is absolutely fabulous. The great men and women who
make up our military here at Fort Stewart are just
fantastic, and we are very proud of everybody."
As the ceremony came to a close, the attendees shared
memories, laughter and slices of cake. Surrounded by rows
of Eastern Red Bud trees, it was hard not to reflect on the
sacrifices servicemembers make on a daily basis.
Remembering the Fallen, and supporting those currently
serving overseas is all that the senior leaders ask.
"As we sit here today and we celebrate the Army's
birthday, I would like to remind everyone about the
Soldiers who are deployed, and the Families who wait back
here," concluded Command Sgt. Maj. Watson. "There
is a Soldier somewhere in the world who is standing guard
right now, and every night, protecting us at all times, so
we can be free."