News: Let them eat cake: Troops celebrate Army birthday
Story by Sgt. Eric Glassey
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Joint Task Force Carson Soldiers and community members celebrated the 239th Army birthday discussing Army Values and the Army profession June 12.
Acting Senior Commander Col. Mike Tarsa, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, spoke to Soldiers about the theme for the 239th Army birthday.
“This year's theme for the Army’s birthday is ‘America’s Army: Our Profession.’ As we celebrate, I have three points I want to talk to you about. The first one is about leadership. Three things define leaders across the Army. You have to be a person of character, you have to be competent, and you have to be committed,” Tarsa said. “Those three things encapsulate our expectations for leaders in today’s Army. My second point is that across the spectrum of our nation’s defense, it is still the Army that is the decisive arm of our military. We are professionals, and we are the force that wins with boots on the ground.
“The last point I want to make is that Army leaders, Army Soldiers, and everyone who is privileged to wear this uniform, is accountable to our Army Values, and we are all part of something bigger than ourselves. Happy birthday to the Army. HOOAH!”
The Wolf and Stack dining facilities staff presented birthday cakes to their patrons. One of the cakes was 6 feet by 3 feet, weighed 150 pounds, and took two chefs 18 hours to complete.
“We started yesterday morning at 7 a.m. and finished around 10 a.m. today,” said Staff Sgt. Bill Hengsteler, rations noncommissioned officer in charge, Stack Dining Facility.
Hengsteler had the primary role of creating the cake for the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Army birthday celebration.
“It’s hard not to reflect on the Army’s birthday when you’re standing in front of a giant cake and sing the 'Army Song,'” said Col. David M. Hodne, brigade commander, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. “In 1775, George Washington told the folks in the Continental Army that ‘anyone that dedicates themselves to such a cause – serve and support this new nation – need not to have a title. They are Soldiers and their post is one of the greatest honors.’ That continues today.”
An Army professional strives to adhere to essential characteristics such as trust, military expertise, esprit de corps, and stewardship.
“Trust remains the bedrock of our profession,” Hodne said. “Trust between Soldiers, leaders, units and families. That is one of the critical components of a successful Army. Military expertise is absolutely required in our profession so that when called, we can fight and win our nation’s wars."
“Esprit de corps transcends pride in a unit, and it is something that can never be measured, but is always easily understood when your unit has it,” he said. “Every Soldier plays a vital role in the stewardship of the profession as they raise their right hand and swear an oath to the constitution to maintain the Army Values so that we can accomplish our nation’s objectives.”
The Army birthday is a celebration steeped in tradition that has endured for more than two centuries.
“The Army is one of our oldest professions,” Hodne said. “In fact, it predates the nation itself. One thing that is fascinating about the Army is how that profession has endured for 239 years. It’s important to recognize (that), because a profession is not a career. It’s when you commit yourself to values greater than yourself - serving your fellow man.”