JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ - Army Support Activity Fort Dix soldiers celebrated the Army’s 238th birthday June 14, 2013, here.
The soldiers participated in their annual formation run, cake-cutting ceremony and Army Ball to usher in another year for the Army.
The birthday commemorates the day the Continental Congress passed an act to create the Army in 1775.
"We ran as an Army today to celebrate 238 years of service,” said Army Col. Jeffrey A. Doll, Army Support Activity Fort Dix commander.
Formation runs are a long-standing Army tradition that Soldiers participate in throughout their whole careers. Eight units attended this year’s two-mile run which began and ended at Sharp Field. The tradition includes cadence singing and motivates soldiers by inspiring espirit de corps.
Army traditions are bigger than any single soldier. They have been around a long time and will continue into the future. The Army has a long history and its traditions are a part of the history many soldiers take pride in, said Doll.
The oldest and youngest soldiers stationed in ASA-Fort Dix worked together to cut a birthday cake with an Army sabre per tradition at the ASA-Fort Dix Headquarters.
Sgt. Kevin Forkin, ASA- Fort Dix Headquarters Company supply sergeant, the youngest Soldier at age 22, cut the cake for the second time since joining the Army. Sergeant 1st Class Jarold Hayford, 1110th Mobilization Support Battalion, Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group sergeant mobilized from Fort Campbell, Ky., was the oldest soldier here at the age of 57, so he and Forkin worked together to slice the cake.
“There is a lot of pride in the Army’s traditions,” said Forkin. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to take part in this tradition because I might never get to participate again as the youngest.”
The Army Ball was the final event to celebrate the Army’s birthday. Soldiers donned their mess dress which is one of their most formal uniforms. Approximately 230 attended the event at Valenzano’s Winery in Shamong, N.J. The attendees ate, danced and held another cake-cutting ceremony.
The ball came to end at 10:30 after five hours, ending the Army birthday celebrations.
"It's nice when we all get together as an Army community for something like this,” said Capt. Laura Gibbons, Warrior Transition Unit case management officer, who attended the formation run. “I love the traditions we have in the Army and I think they will only get stronger.”