Story by SGT Rakeem Carter on 06/18/2019FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. More than 244 years ago, the Second Continental Congress formed the Continental Army establishing the U.S. Army of today. That decision marked the starting point, and was one of many pivotal points, in the Army's storied history.
On June 14, 2019, non-commissioned officers with the Cyber Center of Excellence Non-Commissioned Officers Academy Detachment - Fort Meade, Maryland, participated in an all-services commemorative run here to acknowledge the Army's past while attending a course preparing them to be leaders of the future.
Acknowledging that history while celebrating the Army's 244th birthday was an event many of the students appreciated because it gave them a chance to reflect on the Army's past.
"I feel extremely honored to carry on a tradition of my grandfather and other relatives that have come before me, fighting in different wars from World War II, to Vietnam and Korea, so it's especially emotional for me," said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Miller, a public affairs non-commissioned officer assigned to the 126th Press Camp Headquarters, Michigan National Guard, and a student at the CCoE NCOA Detachment.
"It's a time-honored tradition that we do this every year for the Army birthday," said Miller. "It doesn't get old and it's always refreshing because normally you're going to be out with new peers, new seniors and new subordinates building camaraderie and esprit de corps."
Although a run to celebrate the Army's birthday is a time-honored tradition, it is one that many of the students do not get to experience unless attending leadership courses at the CCoE NCOA Detachment.
"It's actually pretty cool to do an Army birthday run on base with all these different units and services," said Staff Sgt. Steven Eaton, a student at the CCoE NCOA Detachment and a public affairs NCO assigned to the 65th Press Camp Headquarters, Massachusetts National Guard.
"As a National Guard Soldier, we don't celebrate the Army birthday like this because we are spread out across the state, so to be able to celebrate with a lot of other Soldiers with a traditional run was actually really fun," said Eaton.
As the students at the CCoE NCOA reached the half way point on their journey through their leadership courses, the birthday run gave them an opportunity to recognize the Army's history while attending a challenging course designed to prepare them for their future leadership positions.
"It's an honor to be a part of the leadership of any group, but specifically in the Army we are tasked with leading our junior Soldiers and preparing them for their futures," said Eaton. "It's an amazing feeling to be a part of the leadership that will help shape the Army's future."
Sgt. 1st Class Osvaldo Equite, a senior small group leader at the CCoE NCOA, said that the task of training and leading non-commissioned officers to be the leaders of the future is important and something that he takes pride in.
"One of the best things that we do at the academy is bring in these Soldiers from across the country and set a base standard for them to build upon while also letting them share their experience," said Equite. "It's my duty to prepare them well and prepare them for the future ahead. A lot of things have changed over the last 244 years that the Army has been around and the CCoE NCOA is doing it's part to prepare the leaders of tomorrow for the changes to come."
"The [CCoE NCOA Detachment] is doing an amazing job of shaping the Army leaders of tomorrow," said Eaton. "I've learned a lot in the two weeks that I've been here and I'm excited for what the next two weeks are going to bring. There's a lot of lessons that we can take from our SGLs and also from our peers' experiences. The NCOA does a great job of not [only] teaching us, but showing us how to be leaders."