Army celebrates 236 years 

8/1/2011 

Army birthday cake 
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, and Secretary of the Army John McHugh, prepare to cut the cake at the 236th Army Birthday Ball at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Md., on June 11.

Four months older than the Navy, five months older than the Marine Corps, the nation’s oldest military branch began its 236th birthday celebration with senior Army leaders presenting a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 14.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III presented the red, white and green wreath with blue ribbons to the tomb’s Relief Commander after which Taps was sounded.

Even though the Army’s birthday is June 14, festivities in the nation’s capital began June 11 with the traditional black-tie ball featuring the Army Field Band and country music recording artist Phil Vassar.

In addition to the cake-cutting at the birthday ball, cake-cutting ceremonies were held June 14 at the Pentagon and another on Capitol Hill with congressional leaders.

The celebration also featured precision and tradition with a Twilight Tattoo, and featuring the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, (The Old Guard), and The United States Army Band, "Pershing’s Own," at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., June 15.

During the tattoo, David A. Hovda was presented the Army’s Strength of the Nation Award for his exceptional contributions to breakthrough research for systematic recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Hovda serves as director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center.

The week’s birthday events capped off with the traditional birthday run June 17 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.