News | June 8, 2022

DLA Headquarters employees celebrate Army’s birthday

By Christine Born DLA Public Affairs

Employees celebrated the Army’s 247th birthday June 7 in the McNamara Headquarters Complex auditorium. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka O’Neal, Defense Logistics Agency senior enlisted leader, led the event.

It was the first in-person service birthday event held since the pandemic began.

On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the formation of 10 companies from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to march to Boston to support the war against England for independence, making the Army one year older than the Declaration of Independence and 13 years older than the Constitution.

“Our Army has protected the American people fighting on domestic and foreign soil for nearly two-and-a-half centuries,” O’Neal said. “Its members, past and present, can be justifiably proud of the Army’s achievements.”

About 121,000 U.S. soldiers are currently deployed to 140 countries.

Colin Williams, DLA historian, gave an overview of Army history, focusing on George Washington. He said the then-commander-in-chief remained faithful to Congress over eight and a half years and relayed the story of how he quelled the March 1783 Newburgh Conspiracy.

“Washington’s actions established a tradition of subordination to political authority the soldiers, noncommissioned officers, warrant officers, commissioned officers and civilians of the army have followed to the current day,” he said.

As tradition dictates, the oldest and youngest soldiers present – Army Lt. Col. Alan M. Irizarry, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall garrison chaplain, and Army Sgt. Capri A. Brown from DLA Protocol – cut the birthday cake.  

O’Neal concluded with a message to the HQC workforce.

“The support of the Department of Defense civilian workforce for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Guardians and Coast Guardsmen is crucial,” she said. “You have a proud legacy of participation in our nation’s collective effort to give our military services the tools they need to provide for our nation’s defense. Your commitment to excellence and steadfast support to our servicemembers and their families is vital for their operation and success.”

The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment Army Color Guard presented the colors while the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment Fife and Drum Corps performed the National Anthem.

After the ceremony, the U.S. Army Drill Team demonstrated their skills in the cafeteria.