Soldiers celebrate Army birthday with food, cake, sabers

7th Sustainment Brigade
Story by Staff Sgt. Alexander Burnett

Date: 06.14.2012
Posted: 06.14.2012 14:29
News ID: 90002
Cutting the Army birthday cake

FORT EUSTIS, Va. — The time has come and the stage is set. A crowd has gathered around two of their youngest to observe this time honored tradition that celebrates both history and the future. The two nervously raise the saber; look forward and slowly cut into the birthday cake.

Soldiers, airmen, Department of Defense civilians and family members celebrated the Army’s 237th Birthday with a cake cutting ceremony and special meal at the Resolute Café on Fort Eustis, June 14.

The soldiers assigned to the Resolute Café began preparation for this birthday meal the evening of June 13 by marinating meat, preparing side dishes and baking desserts and bread. The morning of the Army birthday, the food service specialists arrived at 4:15 a.m. to begin cooking a meal that would be enjoyed by over 2,000 dining facility patrons. On the menu for the day were rotisserie chicken, marinated rib-eye, crab legs, fried shrimp, green beans, macaroni and cheese, roasted potatoes, a variety of cakes and cookies, a salad bar and, of course, birthday cake.

“Every dish these soldiers and civilians are going to enjoy today was hand prepared and cooked by the soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. John Mosely, a food service non-commissioned officer assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade. “The troops put in a very late night and a very early morning to get this meal prepped and cooked. I know everyone is going to enjoy it.”

While soldiers and friends were settling into their seats to enjoy the delicious meal before them, they were called back to the center of the dining facility for the cake cutting. Maj. Gen. Bradley May, the senior commander of the Army element at Fort Eustis and the deputy commanding general for initial military training at Army Training Doctrine Command, introduced the two soldiers who would cut the Army birthday cake in a traditional fashion, with a saber. The cutters were 2nd Lt. Harry Cambrelen, 359th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sus. Bde. executive officer, and Pvt. Guillermo Sanchez, an Army watercraft engineer in training.

“It is a real honor to be selected to cut the Army birthday cake,” said Cambrelen. “I am very proud to be a part of the Army and a part of its rich legacy.”

While enjoying some of the finest Army cooking, many soldiers spent their meal reminiscing over deployments, old units, current missions and their part in Army history. Talk of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and even Saudi Arabia and the missions and battles fought in those lands filled the room. For many, the Army birthday is a time to remember where they had all been, said May.

“This is the first Army birthday we are celebrating after closing the Army mission in Iraq, and I think we are all remembering the sacrifices made in support of that mission,” May said. “In the upcoming year, I think we will see more of what we are seeing today, soldiers, friends and family members gathering together.”