On June 14, our nation commemorated the 238th birthday of the greatest army known to history – the United States Army. To celebrate the Army’s 238th birthday, the Fort Leonard Wood team hosted a division-style run, luncheon, and streamer ceremony and retreat June 14.
The division-style run for military personnel, led by Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, kicked off at 5:30 a.m. from Gammon Field. The three-mile run gave interservice training units the chance to celebrate the Army’s birthday, promote esprit de corps, and take pride in the Army’s heritage of bravery, service and sacrifice.
A luncheon for Department of the Army personnel took place in the Pershing Community Center. The highlight of the event was the Army birthday cake-cutting ceremony with Dr. Rebecca Johnson, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood deputy to the commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major, and the installation’s oldest and youngest Soldier and DA civilians.
The celebration culminated in an afternoon streamer ceremony and retreat for the entire community on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza. During the ceremony, 187 battle streamers, which represent different conflicts throughout the nation's history, were attached to the Army’s flag by Soldiers dressed in uniforms appropriate to the time of the conflict that the streamers represent.
Smith provided remarks immediately following the streamer ceremony and retreat. He paid honor to the all-volunteer force that formed the Continental Army under Gen. George Washington 238 years ago to establish freedom for the American people and our way of life.
Smith said that it was important to pay tribute to the American flag because June 14 is also Flag Day.
“We honor the flag that we place on our uniform, the flag that we salute, and we honor the flag that has changed so many times in the past two centuries,” he said.
Smith recognized Soldiers, civilians and family members for their contributions and commitment to the U.S. Army.
He then spoke to members of the Fort Leonard Wood community.
“Our Soldiers, civilians and family members cannot do what we do without our communities,” he said.
“Fort Leonard Wood has 14 community covenants, more than any other Army installation,” he said. “These covenants serve as a testimony to the tremendous level of support given to Fort Leonard Wood.”
“I’ve been in the Army more than 29 years now,” Smith said. “I have never seen such support, and for this I say thank you.”“Thank you for supporting our troops,” he said. “Thank you for providing aid and comfort to our Army family. Thank you for doing everything you do to make us at home on post and off post.”
Page 2 of 2 - “Thank you for coming out here today to celebrate your Army’s birthday,” he said.