United States Army Central celebrated Third Army's 101 years of service with Sumter High School's Air Force Junior ROTC on Thursday morning.
The birthday celebration looked back at Third Army's history and educated the Sumter students in …
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The birthday celebration looked back at Third Army's history and educated the Sumter students in attendance about life in the military at Patton Hall, which is located and headquartered on Shaw Air Force Base.
"Today is really, truly a cool day," Commanding General Lt. Gen. Terry Ferrell said. "It's our birthday!"
Ferrell said 101 years marks the new generation of soldiers and recognized the AFJROTC cadets who joined in on the celebration.
"It connects us to something larger than we are," Ferrell said.
On Nov. 7, 1918, Third Army was activated at Chaumont, France, days before the end of World War I. Third Army gained fame during World War II under the leadership of Gen. George S. Patton.
Historian Michael Clauss talked about Third Army's history and presented four different generations of Third Army soldiers. Each of the four soldiers told a story from his or her time serving while dressed up in the uniform of that era.
USARCENT gave AFJROTC cadets the opportunity to talk with Army soldiers of different ranks, as well.
Col. Christopher Burns said programs like ROTC help guide young soldiers to the military. He asked the cadets who wanted to join the military, and many raised their hands.
"You have to be committed to this service," Burns said.
During the ceremony, Ferrell and Maj. Brian Hester invited the oldest and youngest soldier of USARCENT at Shaw Air Force Base to help cut the birthday cake and show the age span in the Third Army.
"You're the new era," Ferrell said. "How we operate today is the new era."
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