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MILITARY MATTERS: Fort Benning Celebrates Army’s 247th Birthday

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Fort Benning hosted a celebration Tuesday for the birthday of the U-S Army, which officially started two months into the Revolutionary War.

Soldiers and leaders gathered today on post for a cake-cutting to celebrate the 247th birthday of the U.S. Army, which came more than a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

“What it means for all of us soldiers, it’s an opportunity to be something, part of something bigger than ourselves,” Fort Benning Chief of Armor BG Tom Feltey said.

The U.S. Army was established on June 14th, 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year. Nearly 250 years later, Army installations have traditions that go beyond the soldiers.

“It’s not just the Fort Benning community, we’re talking about tri-city and Chattahoochee Valley region, to celebrate such a lineage, a fabric we’re all cut from,” Garrison Command Sgt. Major Michael Sanchez said.

Fort Benning officials say it’s been 247 years of protecting our nation and global readiness 24/7. Brigadier General Tom Feltey, the Chief of Armor, tells us he only had dreams of this, growing up in a small town in New Jersey,

“I look at the Army as this organization that just provided a regular kid an awesome opportunity. I get to be a part of history...to make history,” Feltey added.

“Since I came in (to the Army) at 19 years old, I’ve been part of it for 27 years. This is my 5th time being at Fort Benning, this installation,” CSM Sanchez said.

People at the event discussed the courage of Army Soldiers to stand behind their oath to protect the American Way of life, with selfless service, allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, and improving for the future.

“It’s all about modernization...building a family and trust as we continue to move forward,” CSM Sanchez said.

“It’s incredibly humbling to be a part of this Army and then get a chance to build our next Army,” BG Feltey told us.

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