USAREUR marks Army birthday in Wiesbaden
June 14, 2016
WIESBADEN, Germany — A traditional cake-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday at the home of the U.S. Army Europe headquarters to mark the Army’s 241st birthday.
The ceremony, at the Strong Europe dining facility on Clay Kaserne, was attended by German army Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal, USAREUR’s chief of staff. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of USAREUR, is currently in Poland overseeing Anakonda 16, a large multinational training event.
As part of the tradition, the garrison’s youngest and oldest soldiers were selected to take part in the ceremony. The oldest soldier, Staff Sgt. Leonard Romine, 49, a military policeman, joined the Army in 1987 — a full 10 years before Pvt. Donte Edwards, with the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, was even born.
The tradition is meant to symbolize the continuity and consistency of the U.S. Army, with the oldest soldier representing competence and experience and the youngest the potential of the next generation of fighting men and women, Col. Bill Williams, USAREUR deputy chief of staff, said.
In addition to the cake-cutting, USAREUR held a garrisonwide run early Tuesday morning, and will be holding a formal ball on June 25.
The U.S. Army traces its roots back to the Continental Army, formed by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1775. The nomenclature “United States Army” was formally adopted in 1796.