Fort Jackson celebrates 106th birthday
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Fort Jackson is celebrating its 106th birthday.
Brigadier General Jason Kelly says the event also highlights the diversity and the heritage of the US Army.
“Our Army is an incredibly diverse organization. I think it is what right looks like in our nation. We’re demonstrating that promise — equity. It’s in our Constitution, and that is the oath that we all take. And today, its on display along with that incredible heritage of training and making soldiers, here at Fort Jackson,” says Kelly.
Kelly reminded those in attendance that Fort Jackson was the first Army installation to racially integrate back in 1950, and was also the first to bring about gender integration in 1994.
“My time in the military has really brought a lot of diversity into my life. Just people from different parts of the country to different parts of the world, everybody with different life experiences so it goes so far beyond color, race, gender, all that stuff. So it’s been a really really positive experience,” says Sergeant Tara Albohn, who has been at Fort Jackson for four years now.
Kelly — who just started his 30th year with the Army — says “Team Jackson” both past and present has much to be proud of.
“When our nation requires us to, we stand ready to deploy, we stand ready to defend democracy, to defend freedom, on behalf of all. And today, we’re able to celebrate and to come together as one. And I think the family members being able to see the pride that we all share, as members of this amazing team — to be able to share that with loved ones is absolutely special to me,” Kelly says.
According to Kelly, more than 58% of all soldiers in the Army get their start at Fort Jackson.
The Golden Knights, the Army’s parachute team, were set to jump and land at the event on Wednesday, but had to cancel due to mechanical issues on the plane.
The Army will celebrate a birthday soon too, turning 248 years old on June 14th.