Canberra turned on a top day for hundreds of officers and diggers who gathered in Blamey Square to celebrate Army’s 120th birthday on March 1.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr spoke at the event, reinforcing his vision for Army through the next decade and reminding those attending of Army’s history, unity and teamwork.
Lieutenant General Burr said diggers and officers gathered across Australia to celebrate the milestone.
“They too will use our birthday to acknowledge the great work being done in units and commands across our Army and the joint force,” he said.
“In 1901, Federation brought Army together, and we are stronger in this unity."
Lieutenant General Burr encouraged those gathered to enjoy the day, but also to reflect and recommit.
“Let us be thankful for those who have gone before,” Lieutenant General Burr said.
“Be proud of your own service and what you do today.
“Appreciate we must all work together to unlock the incredible potential of our people and strengthen the foundation of our profession so we can defend Australia and our national interest, and so contribute to the ever-evolving and inspirational story of the Australian Army.”
Following a longstanding tradition, Army Headquarters’ youngest soldier, Private Harrison Nguyen, a clerk at the Directorate of Reserve Soldier Career Management, joined the Chief of Army in cutting the birthday cake. They used ceremonial swords to maintain social distancing.
Private Nguyen has been in the Army for two years, and said he was proud to cut the cake.
“It’s an opportunity not a lot of soldiers will get during their careers – I’ll certainly remember this forever,” Private Nguyen said.
“My family couldn’t be here today, but many of my work colleagues came here to see me cut the cake.
“I hope everyone in Army keeps up their good work, and good soldiering.
“Happy birthday, Army.”
Lieutenant General Burr also acknowledged the milestones of the other services.
“We share our birthday with our teammates in Navy, and this year, on March 31, Air Force will celebrate its 100th birthday,” he said.
“We extend our warmest wishes to them.”