FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (KFVS) - Soldiers and leaders of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) celebrated the U.S. Army’s 244th Birthday a day early.
The Army’s Birthday is June 14, 1775.
Also celebrating were Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Campbell, tenant units and distinguished civilian guests at a ceremony on Fort Campbell.
The theme was “America’s Army: Honoring the Call to Service from D-Day to Today.”
“Today we celebrate the Army and the nation,” said Col. Clair Gill, 101st Abn. Div. deputy commander, support. “I try to think about those Soldiers who joined the Army 244 years ago as a militia, if they could imagine so many years later that same Army would so something as amazing as D-Day. Or if they would imagine what our Soldiers do now, every day around the world. That’s what we are here to connect and celebrate today.”
Due to Army tradition, the senior commander, Col. Clair Gill, was joined by the oldest and youngest Soldier in the division to cut a cake.
Lt. Col. John McDonough of Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, a Philadelphia native, served many years in the Navy, later re-joining the Army in 2010.
“It sends tingles down the spine,” said McDonough, describing his role in the ceremony. “To realize what the 101st did in D-Day, and now be among these young kids that if called, would do the same thing.”
He passed his slice of cake to Pvt. Justin Davila, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. Davila was born in 2001 and joined the Army in 2018.