FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - Ft. Sill held a celebration to honor the United States Army’s 244th birthday.
They celebrated this in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Ft. Sill.
It's tradition during these ceremonies for the youngest solider and the oldest solider to cut the birthday cake with a saber.
This year's youngest soldier is just 17 years old, and in week 8 of basic training.
He says to go from basic training to the spotlight of the birthday celebration was a whirlwind.
“It really shocked me just to be here as a trainee. I haven’t completed basic training yet, but I feel very honored to be in room with so many people who have done great things for the Army. I’m just happy to be somewhere with AC, not doing training, and with all these great people. It felt really good," says younger soldier on post, Cooper Zuniga.
Zuniga says his short time at Ft. Sill has been really exciting, and he said he was pumped to get a piece of the cake he helped carve.
And Friday’s ceremony also gave us the winners of a pair of on-post competitions.
Officials announced the winners of the Fort Sill Best Warrior Competition, with Staff Sergeant Daniel Crook being the winner of the Non Commissioned Warrior and Specialist Thomas Massengill recognized as a Junior Soldier.
Meanwhile, Drill Sergeant Benhur Rodriguez was the 2019 drill sergeant of the year.
All three of these service members were honored for their hard work and determination.
“It’s surreal to me right now. I competed against a ton of people and to see all the hard work pay off is amazing. I felt jitters that I haven;t felt in a long time,” said Drill Sergeant of the year Benhur Rodriguez.
Rodriguez will head down to Sam Houston in August to compete against other Drill Sergeants from across the country to represent Ft. Sill.