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Soldiers at USTRANSCOM observe the Army’s 228th Birthday

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (USTCNS) --- In a ceremony on June 13, 2003, which paid tribute to fallen comrades –- both recent and from generations past -- and looked forward to the challenges of the future, the soldiers stationed at U.S. Transportation Command marked the 228th anniversary of the establishment of their service on June 14, 1775.

“It’s important to remember your roots and your history,” said Army Maj. Gen. Carlos “Butch” Pair, USTRANSCOM Chief of Staff and the commander of Army personnel assigned to USTRANSCOM, “The Army is a values-based organization. It is important to pass along those values, that tradition and history to a new generation. Ceremonies like this are a way to do that.”

USTRANSCOM, a joint command, staffed by members of all the armed forces, provides air, land, and sea transportation for the Department of Defense, both in time of peace and war.

The passing along of tradition from one generation to the next was demonstrated when Pair, who hosted the event and presented remarks, was joined by Spc. Wade Gloston, the junior-most soldier at USTRANSCOM, in cutting the Army’s birthday cake with the ceremonial saber.

Gloston, a former Marine from San Jose, Calf., who works as a mission controller in USTRANSCOM’s Operations directorate, was also a member of the color guard who posted the colors (U.S., Army and USTRANSCOM flags) earlier in the ceremony.

“This ceremony is a testament to the strength, loyalty, and courage of the Army and the United States as a country,” said Gloston.

Lt. Col. Mike Balser, the narrator for the ceremony, made a point to note that the Army is a year older than the nation itself.

“We celebrate on the same day as Flag Day, June 14th,” said Balser, a Strategic Mobility Officer with USTRANSCOM who calls Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, home, “because our Army and our national colors watch over America together. In this particular setting [USTRANSCOM], however, we celebrate ‘going together’, in a joint sense, acknowledging the Army as well as all the members of our larger team.”

And bringing all of USTRANSCOM’s soldiers together is another purpose of the commemoration, said Lt. Col. Joseph Adams, the deputy USTRANSCOM Army Element Commander.

“It is often difficult to gather all the soldiers in the command as they are working a variety of shifts and supporting a number of different missions,” said Adams, who supervised the planning and execution of the Army Birthday ceremony, “When we have observances such as this, it is one of the few times we are all actually able to come together and reflect as a team.”

For Staff Sgt. Nakia Shine, the significance of this year's observance was quite clear, “Two hundred twenty-eight years says it all,” said Shine, a Joint Planning and Execution System Operator, from Birmingham, Ala., and a member of the color guard for the ceremony, “and never faltering. To me the significance of this memorable occasion can be summed up year after year in one word: ‘perseverance.’ No matter what hardships we go through as a service, we always band together, and eventually come out on top.”

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