Army veteran emphasizes values, commitment during 244th Army birthday celebration
by Marcus Johnson
DISA Strategic Communication and Public Affairs
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Joint Force Headquarters DOD-Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN) workforce and their guests celebrated the Army’s 244th birthday at their joint headquarters on Fort George G. Meade June 14.
The theme of this year’s Army birthday is, “America’s Army: Honoring the call to service from D-Day to today.”
JFHQ-DODIN Executive Director Jeffery R. Jones, a 30-year Army veteran and the event’s guest speaker, explained the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, and the Army’s establishment 244 years ago, reflect the Army’s deep connection with personal values and commitments.
“This all-volunteer service set the stage for the Army to become an organization where men and women demonstrate their selfless service to others and to our country’s pursuit of freedom,” Jones said. “The Army’s designation as a continental army established the effort as a unified, colonial fighting force that could represent all 13 colonies with additional troops. That’s how we fight today -- as a unified force, even in the cyberspace domain. The idea of a call to service that sprung from the early days is reinforced by a set of core values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.”
To underscore an example of personal courage on the battlefield, Jones recited a quote from Army Sgt. Daniel McBride, 95, a D-Day survivor.
"It was always cold, we were always hungry, always wet and always scared, but we had to keep going."
The D-Day invasion, which occurred 75 years ago, saw 156,000 American, British, and Canadian allied troops launch an amphibious assault against German forces on the coast of France’s Normandy region.
It was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history, with the deployment of 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft.
Jones explained the Army played a pivotal role in that operation as well as current conflicts across the globe.
According to an Army.mil article, paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions descended on Cotentin Peninsula. Despite heavy casualties and disorganization, the paratroopers engaged and defeated German troops, securing the left flank of the invasion force.
“We evolve and change to defeat our enemies and to preserve freedom for all Americans together as an Army family, we continue to strengthen our trust relationship with the American people,” said Jones.
Despite the Army’s commitment to the American people, Jones said soldiers often carry the burden of spending significant bouts of time away from their families and the pain of losing their fellow soldiers on the battlefield.
Service birthday celebrations, he explained, provide an excellent reminder of the contributions and sacrifices soldiers make to ensure America’s freedom and security.
“Throughout our 244-year-history, the men and women who have served in the Army have done so with distinction and honor. Whether it’s part of an act of conflict or responding to natural disasters, our commitment to the Army’s values and strong heritage will continue to guide our way,” he said. “You are my brothers. You are my sisters. We are the Army.”
The celebration concluded with an Army cake cutting ceremony. Army Col. David Green and Army Spc. Logan Lustig – the oldest and youngest soldiers present – joined Jones as they cut the birthday cake. Green served the first piece of cake to Lustig, symbolizing the passing of experience and knowledge, while also demonstrating how the Army cares for its young soldiers.
Soldiers — past and present — were then asked to stand and join in the recital of The Soldier’s Creed, which was followed by the official Army song, “The Army Goes Rolling Along.”
Posted June 14, 2019