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News | June 18, 2024

The Army Celebrates its 249th Birthday


Hundreds of Servicemembers and Army Civilian Professionals gathered at the Noncommissioned Officer Leadership Center of Excellence (NCOLCoE) and Sergeants Major Academy (SGM-A) campus to continue the time-honored tradition of singing the Army song and enjoying cake afterwords.

The Army is one of the oldest institutions in our country. Born on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress established it, the Army is a year older than the Declaration of Independence and thirteen years older than the Constitution.

Two Soldiers, the oldest and youngest, were selected to cut the cake that marked the celebration of the Army’s 249 years of existence.

The oldest member, Sgt. Maj. Rockwell Botchway, is a native of Ghana and works as the Battle Staff NCO Course Deputy Director and has served the Army for over 24 years.

The youngest member, Staff Sgt. Shanielle McMillon is from North Carolina and works for the Command section as the Deputy Commandant’s executive assistant and has served the Army for 8 years.

Botchway expressed that the Army had positively impacted his life, “I am able to communicate assertively, lead others and provide my family members with the care and opportunities they deserve.” Botchway went on to state that as he prepares to retire in a couple years and reflects on his time in service that the NCOLCoE has provided him with the best experience of his career.
McMillon said joining the Army was a decision that brought significantly impact, shaping her perspective on discipline, sacrifice, and camaraderie. “The Army has truly changed my life for the better; the lessons learned during my time in the military guide me in my personal and professional life.” Although McMillon is uncertain whether she will be a career Soldier, she expressed that the Army had also instilled values that would remain with her forever.

Guests indulged in the marble cake with frosting that featured this year’s theme “Honoring the past, Defending the Future” after Command Sgt. Major Tammy Everette, the NCOLCoE Commandant addressed those in attendance and spoke on the importance of each individual’s contribution of to the Force while reminding everyone that the Army provides many opportunities for Servicemembers and civilians to “Be All You Can Be”.