Story by 1SG Crista Mack on 04/26/2018FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii Most birthdays and milestones are celebrated with a cake in a relaxing environment, often a time to unwind. At the Pacific 110th U.S. Army Reserve birthday celebration, hosted by the 9th Mission Support Command headquarters, participants committed to birthday cake only after working up appetites with a run and tough team field competition, featuring physically challenging events including a push up and sit up contest, litter carry, tug-of- war and much more.
And only then was it time to cut the cake.
"After working hard on improving our readiness, sometimes we have to dig in our heels and play hard," Lt. Col. Charles Moulton, Assistant Chief of Staff, 9th Mission Support Command, said.
Moulton joined the teams on the Fort Shafter Flats Field of Heroes where "the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in U.S. history," this year's USAR birthday theme, proved themselves.
Additional team-based pre-cake ceremony challenges included M-4 carbine semi-automatic weapons assembly, a timed event, grenade toss and Frisbee golf. Navigating the many events and motivating the teams to action was Master of Ceremonies John D. Lee, senior civilian employee of the command and himself a retired Army Reserve general officer.
"We wanted this to be a day of fun, tough, challenging events on the 9th Mission Support Command's parade field, the Field of Heroes," said Brig. Gen. Doug Anderson, Commanding General of the 9th MSC, headquarters for all Army Reserve units throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
"We used this day to honor what our institution of Citizen Soldiers has accomplished over the past 11 decades, the sacrifices of the Army Reserve Soldiers in peace and in conflict, and to celebrate our recent successes as an organization," he said.
After all the sweating and cheering one another on, it was finally time for cake.
The oldest Soldier on duty, 9th MSC Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Peter Strong, age 57, and the youngest Soldier, 21 year old Spc. Alavoni Tukunga, a maintenance specialist from the 322nd Civil Affairs Bde., joined in the ceremonial cutting of the cake. Joining oldest and youngest Soldiers for the ceremony were Anderson, Army Reserve Ambassador P. Pasha Baker, Army Reserve Engagement Cell Director Col. Mark Stimer, 9th MSC Chief of Staff Col Geoff Greene and 311th Signal Command (Theater) Command Sgt. Maj. Tracy Barlogio.
For 110 years, the Army Reserve has met the challenges of its time, evolving from the Medical Reserve Corps in 1908 to what is today the Army's global operational reserve force.
Today's 9th MSC is the most ethnically diverse, geographically dispersed command in the U.S. Army Reserve, crossing seven times zones, two states, two territories, a commonwealth and two foreign countries. Its Soldiers speak 29 different languages.
The 9th MSC is an Army Reserve geographic headquarters assigned to U.S. Army Pacific.
Major subordinate commands represented and competing in the field day included the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, U.S. Army Pacific-Support Unit, 3rd Mobilization Support Group, USAR Theater Support Group - Pacific, 4960th Multifunctional Training Brigade, 1984th US Army Hospital, 411th Engineer Battalion, the 302nd Transportation Terminal Battalion, and the famed 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment.
"This unit competition reminded our Soldiers that they are Warriors and a member of a team, and the importance of being disciplined, and physically and mentally tough," Anderson said. "I believe we met that goal. There were a lot of smiles."
For more information about the history of the Army Reserve and the 9th MSC, visit http://www.usar.army.mil/birthday110.