U.S. Army celebrates 240th birthday in New York

Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps

WASHINGTON -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno will host the Army's 240th birthday celebration at 10 a.m., June 12, at Times Square in New York. 

Soldiers, from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) units - the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team; soldier-musicians from the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" Downrange, and the U.S. Military Academy West Point Band, will rekindle the patriotic spirit with musical performances and demonstrations. 

The U.S. Army Band Downrange will kick off the birthday celebration with a musical performance on military island at 9:45 a.m. The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Continental Color Guard will present colors at 10 a.m., with a Soldier-musician singing the national anthem. 

"The Army is celebrating its proud tradition of 240 years of dedicated service to our nation," said Col. Josslyn Aberle, public affairs director, U.S. Army Military District of Washington. "This birthday celebration salutes not only the Soldiers, who defend our country; it salutes our citizens we are sworn to defend." 

Retired Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree Sutton, the New York Mayor's office of veterans affairs commissioner, will declare June 12, "United States Army Day" in New York. 

Odierno will administer the oath of enlistment to 100 young men and women from the New York area during a future Soldier swearing-in ceremony. 

"The future Soldier swearing-in ceremony represents the next generation of Army Soldiers - the youth of America selflessly volunteering to serve our great nation," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commanding general, U.S. Army Military District of Washington. 

The oldest and youngest Soldiers will join Odierno in cutting the official birthday cake provided by "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro from Carlo's Bakery.

In honor of the Army's 240th birthday, the New York Fire Department Pipes and Drums will perform in the celebration. 

All events are free and open to the public.

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