Fort Leonard Wood celebrates U.S. Army's 246th Birthday

Brian Hill
Fort Leonard Wood
Photo by Brian Hill

Fort Leonard Wood is celebrating the 246th Army Birthday this week, with events for service members and their families.

Monday began with a three-mile division-style birthday run, starting at 5:30 a.m. on Gammon Field.

Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, thanked everyone for participating — making special note of the Airmen, Marines and Sailors on hand.

“I appreciate all the support from our sister services,” he said “Today marks 246 years of the Army — established in 1775, a year before the nation was established. It’s made up of people from different backgrounds, who swear to defend the Constitution of the United States.”

After the run, an Army cake-cutting ceremony took place on Gammon Field.

Alongside Bonner and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena, Garrison Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Walter Marshall — the oldest Soldier on post, at 60 years of age — and Pfc. Camerin King, Company B, 31st Engineer Battalion — the youngest Soldier on post, at 17 years of age — cut the cake with a ceremonial sword.

Later that day, the 399th Army Band performed rock music on MSCoE Plaza, before a Retreat Ceremony was performed by the MSCoE Noncommissioned Officers Academy.

As part of the ceremony, Soldiers wore period uniforms, representing World Wars I and II; the Korean and Vietnam wars; the Battle Dress Uniform worn from 1981 to 2004; the desert uniforms worn in operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom; the Army Combat Uniform worn from 2004 to 2015; and the current Operational Camouflage Pattern Uniform worn today.

As part of the ceremony, Soldiers wore period uniforms.

More photos from the Monday events are available on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.

Army Birthday events continue Friday. 

A 5K fun run/walk, open to service members and Department of Defense civilians, and their families, begins at 7 a.m. in the Davidson Fitness Center parking lot.

Later Friday morning, a golf scramble is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Piney Valley Golf Course.