NY National Guard marks Army's 245th birthday with a social distancing cake cutting today, Friday, June 12

LATHAM, NY (06/12/2020) (readMedia)-- The New York National Guard will mark the 245th birthday of the United States Army with a ceremony this afternoon with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters.

This year's ceremony will feature far fewer people due to COVID-19 social distancing considerations, but will still include a cake-cutting ceremony by the oldest and youngest Soldiers present.

The Army National Guard is one of the three components of the United States Army.

WHO: Brigadier General Michel Natali, the Assistant Adjutant General, Army; will preside over the ceremony during which the youngest Soldier, 26-year old Sgt. Tyler Center from Schenectady; and the oldest Soldier, Master Sgt. Roger Townsend, age 59, a Latham resident, will cut the Army Birthday Cake.

WHAT: A traditional cake-cutting ceremony commemorating June 14, 1775, which the United States Army considers its birthday. On that date, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the New England colonial militia troops assembled outside of Boston to confront British troops there; creating the Continental Army.

Traditionally the oldest Soldier present joins the youngest Soldier in cutting the Army Birthday cake. The older Soldier represents the history and traditions of the Army while the young Soldier represents its future.

Because of Social distancing requirements, only a few Soldiers will be physically present. The ceremony will be taped and posted online for other Soldiers to view later. Instead of serving the cake, cupcakes representing pieces of the cakes will be available in a central location for people to sample later.

WHERE: New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham N.Y., 12110

WHEN: 1 p.m. Friday, June 12. The ceremony will start precisely at 1 p.m. and will not last long.

Coverage opportunities:

Reporters can interview New York Army National Guard Officers and Soldiers present.

For access to this secure military facility reporters should contact the Division of Military and Naval Affairs Public Affairs Office at 518-786-4581.