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Photos: Army celebrates its 239th birthday with esprit de corps run

Soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson assemble before an esprit de corps run Thursday morning, June 26, 2014. US Army Alaska commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields led over 1,000 soldiers on the four-mile run.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson assemble before an esprit de corps run Thursday morning, June 26, 2014. US Army Alaska commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields led over 1,000 soldiers on the four-mile run.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
US Army Alaska commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields salutes his soldiers before leading them on a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Over 1,000 soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson salute US Army Alaska commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields before embarking on a four-mile “esprit de corps” run Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
US Army Alaska commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields, running in front of the flag, leads over 1,000 soldiers on a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Over 1,000 soldiers ran a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Over 1,000 soldiers ran a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
A road guard salutes a passing officer during a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Over 1,000 soldiers ran a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Over 1,000 soldiers ran a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
US Army Alaska commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields addresses his troops after a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
In addition to over 1,000 troops, three military working dogs participated in the four-mile “esprit de corps” run through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Thursday morning, June 26, 2014.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Using a sword, US Army Alaska NCO of the year Staff Sgt. Adam White cuts a 40-pound cake celebrating the 239th birthday of the US Army on Thursday morning, June 26, 2014. White and over 1,000 fellow soldiers participated in a four-mile “esprit de corps” run through base.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson are served cake after their four mile “esprit de corps” run on Thursday morning, June 26, 2014. The 40-pound cake celebrates the 239th birthday of the US Army.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Loren Holmes

Under thick clouds and a light rain, 1,000 soldiers gathered with U.S. Army commanding general Maj. Gen. Michael Shields to celebrate the 239th birthday of the U.S. Army.

The soldiers, including three with military working dogs, formed in front of the headquarters building on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson early Thursday morning. After a brief presentation, Maj. Gen. Shields led the group on a four-mile run.

Following the run, and a brief speech by the commanding general, Maj. Gen. Shields, Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Gardner, U.S. Army Alaska soldier of the year Pfc. Bryant Sheehy, and NCO of the year Staff Sgt. Adam White used swords to cut a 40-pound cake, celebrating the 239th birthday of the U.S. Army.