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Hundreds celebrate Army’s 247th birthday

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Army Band

Members of the 204th Army Band play music June 14, 2022, at McCoy’s Community Center as part of the Army Birthday Celebration at Fort McCoy.

Fort McCoy was among many installations around the world to celebrate the U.S. Army’s 247th birthday June 14.

Led by Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR), the installation held a wide variety of activities in honor of the day.

Events included the Army Birthday 5k Run/2-Mile Walk at Rumpel Fitness Center that also included a breakfast for participants and spectators. There also was the Army Birthday Ceremony and Lunch at McCoy’s Community Center where hundreds of people received a free lunch and cake, and the 204th Army Band entertained the audience with many popular songs.

Hundreds of people also received an Army birthday T-shirt highlighting the day as well, said Christie B. Clark, sponsorship and advertising coordinator with Fort McCoy DFMWR.

DFMWR also had a free HyperBowling Hyperactive Game from 4 to 6 p.m. — also at McCoy’s Community Center, Clarke said. DFMWR also provided free automatic car washes at the MWR Car Wash from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 2022 celebration was the largest since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 celebrations were scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All events were free and open to the entire Fort McCoy community,” Clark said.

DFMWR Director Patric McGuane opened the birthday ceremony at McCoy’s. He welcomed everyone to the celebration and was thankful for all the organizations and businesses that helped sponsor the birthday celebration.

“A special thank you to all our sponsors,” McGuane said. “Without you all of this would not have been possible today.”

History shows the U.S. Army was founded on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve the colonies for one year. The June 14 date is when Congress adopted “the American Continental Army” after reaching a consensus position in The Committee of the Whole. The record, according to Army history, indicates only that Congress undertook to raise 10 companies of riflemen, approved an enlistment form for them, and appointed a committee to draft rules and regulations for the government of the Army.

Fort McCoy Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Chad Maynard also provided some welcoming remarks and reviewed the Army’s history.

“Thanks to all of the DFMWR team and all the sponsors for supporting this event,” Maynard said.

And the Army has grown over 247 years, Maynard said. From a rag-tag group of Soldiers in the Continental Army to the Army of today.

“And now we are part of the strongest military of all time, and I am proud to be a part of that,” he said.

Gen. James C. McConville, the 40th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, wrote on his official Facebook page June 14 about the Army birthday and those who he serves with in the Army. McConville visited Fort McCoy in August 2021.

“America’s U.S. Army celebrates its 247th Birthday today, and I could not be more proud of what our Soldiers have done in support of this great nation,” the post states. “It is truly an honor to serve alongside you all. Happy Birthday United States Army!”

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