LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) More than 240 years since the inception of the United States Army, officials at Fort Sill are celebrating this day.
The U.S. Army began in 1775 in response to a need for professional soldiers in the American Revolutionary War to fight the invading British army. On Friday, Fort Sill members celebrated the 244th birthday at the post. During the ceremony, there was a cake cutting with the youngest and oldest soldier at Fort Sill. Soldier-in-training Cooper Zuniga was the youngest soldier at the age of 17 and he said it was special to be a part of this day.
“It really shocked me just to be here as a trainee, I haven’t completed basic training yet, but I feel very honored to be in a room with so many people that have done great things for the army,” Zuniga said.
Also during the event, the Warriors of the Year and Drill Sergeant of the Year were named. Drill Sergeant of the Year SSG Benhur Rodriguez said he was confident in his abilities but wasn’t sure if he would win or not.
“I felt very good about it but I knew there were events where the competitors they came up and pushed me to my limits,” Rodriguez said. “So, I wasn’t 100% sure, but I was hoping for the best.”
Rodriguez said being in the army has influenced his life tremendously.
“It shows me my way of life, honestly,” Rodriguez said. “I grew up in California and I wasn’t doing much with myself and joined the army and it’s given me structure. It’s given the right way to grow up and raise my children, now that I have children.”
Now that the birthday celebration has come to a close, the U.S. Army soldiers can continue to fight for American’s freedom and be army strong.
The Army is made up of more than 700,000 soldiers including active-duty and Army Reserve personnel.