Eighth Army celebrates U.S. Army's 239th birthday
SEOUL, South Korea - Eighth Army celebrated the U.S. Army's 239th Birthday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul June 6.
Coinciding with the Republic of Korea's Memorial Day and the 70th Anniversary of Eighth Army, the 8A Army Birthday Ball commemorated all those who have served in the Army. The Campaign Streamer Ceremony served to visualize the remembrance and accomplishments of the U.S. Army throughout its history.
Soldiers participating in the ceremony wore the uniforms from each period ranging from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Each campaign streamer was presented to Eighth Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens, who attached it to the U.S. Army flag.
After the Campaign Streamer Ceremony, the command sergeants major from each of the major subordinate commands made a series of toasts. Thereafter, Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Bernard Champoux made the opening remarks and introduced a video message from the Republic of Korea Army's first four-star general, Gen. (Ret) Paik Sun-Yup. Gen. Paik thanked Eighth Army for playing a major role during the Korean War. "We are very proud of you and we salute you," Paik said.
Gen. Paik was not the only person to mention the Korean War. Retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, the guest speaker of the night, also spoke about how he served in Korea and learned about liberty. He emphasized how freedom is not free and that the U.S. Army has served to provide liberty to those in need.
Both eyes and ears were fully entertained for the remainder of the evening as the Republic of Korea's Honor Guard awed audience with its rifle spins, and Eighth Army Band's Seoul Food pumped up the Soldiers to clap and dance with its renditions of hit pop music.
Capping off the evening was the recognition of the 26 Eighth Army Best Warrior Competition participants and winners. The top competitor in the four categories -- officer, noncommisisioned officer, enlisted and Korean Augmentation To the United States Army -- were presented with the Army Commendation Medal.