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Local soldiers help celebrate the Army’s 237th birthday
Sierra Vista Herald/Review ^ | Bill Hess

Posted on 06/16/2012 7:56:21 PM PDT by SandRat

FORT HUACHUCA — Although it was the day after the Army’s official 237th birthday, there was still a need to celebrate the event on Friday.

On Warrior/Sentinel Field on this southern Arizona Army post, which has existed for more than half of the Army’s life, Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter spoke about the importance of the nation’s senior service.

‘”Heritage and tradition are very important,” he said.

Looking back on the Army’s history is also looking forward, the commander of the Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca said.

“Each year there is a rededication of our Army,” Potter said.

There is no better calling than “defending this nation and all the freedoms we cherish,” the general said.

And for more than a decade, soldiers young and old, men and women, have served “your Army and our Army,” he said.

Following tradition, the senior officer — Potter — senior noncommissioned officer, his Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Holiday and the oldest and youngest service soldiers, regardless of rank, cut the birthday cake.

The oldest soldier at the event was Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Glen McFarland, 58.

The youngest 17-year-old Ivie Carter, had to obtain her father’s permission to enlist.

The Springfield, Ill., native, took basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., beginning in January and arrived for her intelligence training in March and will be graduating in August.

It was her sister Ashley, who suggested she enlisted in the Army at 17, the same age as now 18-year-old Ashley did when she joined the Army reserves.

For Carter, enlisting is helping her mature and to look at the world differently.

“My sister said I needed some structure,” Carter said.

And the Army is providing it, she added.

She enjoys music of the 1980s and cooking, especially chicken alfredo and mac and cheese.

Being 17, Carter said she is the object of jokes by older soldiers, to her that means those in the 30s.

Soldier bakes the cake

It’s unusual to have a birthday party without a cake.

But how does one feed hundreds of soldiers, especially those who had just finished PT?

The answer, call upon a soldier cook and baker.

Stepping up to the special order was Spc. Joshua Winfield, who is assigned to the 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade on the post, who works at the Thunderbird Dining Facility — the brigade’s eatery.

A native of Arizona from Phoenix, Winfield said e had help but, “it took 10 hours to design and bake the cake.”

The end product was six feet long and 30 inches wide and weighed about 80 pounds.

On top of the main cake were three smaller cakes, each with Army symbols.

Winfield said he was pleased with the outcome.

But more importantly so was Potter.

Praising Winfield, the general said “it was good.”

It had to be — one doesn’t want to upset a general, especially when he has a saber in his hand — albeit to cut the cake.

At least there was no Marie Antoinette moment of saying “let them eat cake,” which was part of the reason she lost hers.

Winfield kept his. And many took his unsaid advice and ate pieces of the special birthday cake

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: army; birthday; fthuchuca

1 posted on 06/16/2012 7:56:37 PM PDT by SandRat
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