Fort Gordon celebrates Army's 238th birthday

Friday, June 14, 2013 3:48 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 15, 2013 1:52 AM
  • Follow Latest News

Pfc. Bryce Sickles gripped the handle of an officer’s saber at Fort Gordon’s Freedom Park and with a clean stroke sliced through 20 pounds of birthday cake.

Back | Next
Soldiers dressed in uniforms from past wars wait for the start of a ceremony at Fort Gordon celebrating the Army's 238th birthday. A message of congratulations from President Obama was read at the ceremony.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Soldiers dressed in uniforms from past wars wait for the start of a ceremony at Fort Gordon celebrating the Army's 238th birthday. A message of congratulations from President Obama was read at the ceremony.

The Army turned 238 on Friday and to illustrate the branch’s future, Sickles, the youngest enlisted soldier at Fort Gordon, was chosen as a ceremonial cake cutter.

The 18-year-old characterized the honor as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

President Obama said in a message read aloud to the 200 in attendance that it is because of soldiers such as Sickles that the nation’s armed forces continue to have the confidence and trust of the American people.

“Our first patriots, believing in a democracy they had never known, fought for a nation still only an idea, and beating in the hearts of soldiers in every generation since, this devotion has lived on in brave men and women as they struggled to hold a new union together and defend our way of life,” Obama said. “I am inspired by our soldiers and their extraordinary families who serve alongside them. On behalf of a grateful nation, I salute the United States Army on 238 years of service.”

Fort Gordon’s birthday celebration was heavy on tradition. Soldiers chronicled the history of Army service uniforms, and senior leaders renewed the covenant Fort Gordon has with local communities and military families.

“Without strong civilian control and steadfast support, our Army would not exist, certainly not for 238 years,” said Maj. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson, the commanding general at Fort Gordon. He also recognized the sacrifice and commitment of military families and pledged to continue to foster the partnerships Fort Gordon has with the state and local communities.

“We cannot have one without the other,” Patterson said.

Sickles, who came to the Augusta area from Green Bay, Wis., said when his sergeant informed him he was the youngest enlisted soldier at the post, he thought he was joking. Now, he is grateful he could play a significant role in the Army’s birthday.

“It is very cool to be a part of something so meaningful,” Sickles said. “I have never been a part of anything like this. Tradition-wise, I love all of this and I am so happy to be here.”

U.S. ARMY, FORT GORDON HISTORY

• June 14, 1775. The U.S. Army was created by the Second Continental Congress.

• July 3, 1775. George Washing-ton be­-came the first Com­mander in Chief of the Continental Army.

• October 1941. Originally named Camp Gordon after Confederate Lt. Gen. John Brown Gordon, the Augusta post was established.

• World War II. Camp
Gordon was home to the 4th and 26th Infantry Divisions and the 10th Armored Division.

• 1943-1945. Camp Gordon had an internment camp
for foreign prisoners
of war. A cemetery
where some of those soldiers are buried is still maintained.

• September 1947. The Air Force separated from the Army.

• June 14, 1956. The Army flag was dedicated.

• 1956. The Augusta post was designated Fort Gordon, indicating a more permanent installation.

• Korean and Vietnam wars. Fort Gordon trained military police and signal soldiers.

• October 1974. The Army consolidated all communications training at Fort Gordon.

Sources: armystudyguide.com, Augusta Chronicle archives

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
93784
Points
Riverman1 06/15/13 - 12:59 pm
0
0
Happy Birthday, Army. I owe

Happy Birthday, Army. I owe you much. You gave a poor South Carolina boy with an alcoholic father an education, goals, experiences and values.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mayor's race historic, controversial

Hardie Davis is still waiting to take office after winning a mayoral race that featured no white candidates and saw one of his opponents drop out the day before the election.
Search Augusta jobs