A Relic to Relish: Army birthday celebration features an unusual sword

By Tara Clements

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (June 19,2014) – As Army birthday week draws to a close, the team at the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) paused to recognize the professionalism of Soldiers and civilians who support the Army acquisition mission and 239 years of service to the nation at a cake cutting ceremony here.

“Army acquisition is a profession within the Army profession and what each of you does every day directly contributes to the workforce and ultimately, our Soldiers and their families,” said Col. Wil Riggins, USAASC Deputy Director. “We’re the best-trained, best-led and best-equipped Army and each of you have a direct role in that,” he added.

Army Birthday

Col.(P) David W. Riggins, deputy director of the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC), makes remarks at USAASC’s celebration of the Army’s 239th Birthday, June 19 at Fort Belvoir, Va. (U.S. Army photos by Bob Coultas)

The traditional cake cutting ceremony had its own unique relic reflective of the Army’s 239 years of service. In time-honored tradition, Riggins, USAASC’s oldest Soldier, and Master Sgt. Montae Sledge, USAASC’s youngest Soldier, used the Civil War-era saber to cut the birthday cake. And, because the majority of USAASC staff members are Army civilians, Roosevelt Ingram, the oldest, and Megan Allums, the youngest, also cut a slice using the saber.

The Model 1840 Cavalry Saber “wristbreaker” was manufactured by Tiffany & Co., the famous luxury goods company in New York. Tiffany supplied the Union Army with the sabers along with flags and surgical items in the 1860s. The saber belongs to Tom Evans, a retired Army officer himself who now serves as the chief of USAASC’s workforce management division.

Army Birthday

Master Sgt. Montae Sledge, the youngest Soldier, makes the traditional cut of the cake at USAASC’s Army birthday celebration.

“It’s been in my family for years, although we’re not sure exactly how or when we acquired it,” he said.

Riggins closed the ceremony encouraging everyone to “remember those who have given everything to preserve and protect what we hold dear over the last 239 years.”

The response: “HOOAH!”

Happy Birthday, Army!

Army Birthday

The youngest civilian, Ms. Megan Allums, takes the Wristbreaker Cavalry saber and makes her cut at the USAASC Army birthday celebration.

USAASC supports the Army acquisition community at all levels by shaping and developing world-class professionals and providing superior support to assigned Program Executive Officers and Direct Reporting Program Managers in an environment of continuous performance improvement.

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