Fort Bragg soldiers prepare Army birthday cakes
By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: June 12, 2018
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Edible tributes are taking shape in a kitchen off Ardennes Street on Fort Bragg.
There, between warm ovens, Army culinary specialists are carefully stacking layers of white, chocolate and, in some cases, raspberry cake.
They are dutifully applying layers of buttercream icing. And carefully shaping stars and the emblems of several Fort Bragg units.
These are no normal birthday cakes. These are birthday cakes to celebrate an institution that’s even older than the nation it's sworn to protect – the U.S. Army.
Ahead of the Army’s 243rd birthday on June 14, Fort Bragg soldiers are baking numerous cakes that will be on display at post dining facilities before being sliced and eaten by soldiers across post.
At the Fort Bragg Culinary Arts Center, the soldiers are working together, but also competing in an event that will eventually judge them on taste and decoration.
As a soldier with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division carefully cuts out a red, white and blue U.S. flag that will drape over his cake, another soldier, with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, adds dye to the fondant that will help decorate his multi-layered, patriotic design.
Sgt. 1st Class Latohya Robinson, an instructor at the culinary arts center, said the Army birthday is an opportunity for soldiers to train on complex desserts. It also is an opportunity for them to have fun and try new things.
“Some of them are using elaborate designs,” Robinson said. “Some of them played it safe.”
A team of soldiers from the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command carefully iced the third of five cake tiers. Each will be decorated in a different type of camouflage — noting Army history back to the first Gulf War — before the cake goes on display at the Sustainer Dining Facility on Goldberg Street on Thursday.
The Sustainer DFAC, like many on post, will host a small ceremony celebrating the Army birthday on Thursday at 11 a.m. Other units will celebrate with unit runs, reenlistment ceremonies and other events.
Organizations outside of Fort Bragg also are planning to celebrate the birthday.
The Murchison Road Community Farmers’ Market will cut a birthday cake for the Army during a noon ceremony at Bronco Square, during the group’s “Healthy Wednesday” event.
Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org