By Emily Baker
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD – A warning for soldiers celebrating the Army's 231st birthday today: Only those with special secret clearance may eat III Corps' cake.
III Corps spokeswoman Dalena Kanouse confirmed Monday that today's III Corps Army birthday celebration is being held in a secret location on post, and only soldiers with proper clearance may participate in that location.
"It's at the BCTC," Kanouse said. "I'm not sure what that is, but it's part of the exercise they are having."
III Corps, the 13th Sustainment Command, the 1st Cavalry Division and other units currently are participating in a massive combat training exercise. A BCTC is a battle command training center. Because the training scenario is based on real combat strategies, access to the site is restricted to people with proper security clearances.
The cake – which is reported to have "Happy 231st Birthday" and "America's Army" written around the III Corps crest in frosting – was purchased by the Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, said Ralph Gauer, who ordered the cakes.
They are scheduled to be delivered by the chapter to the post's Soldier Development Center at 8 a.m. today, according to a schedule provided by Ron Taylor, vice president of the association's membership.
The cake-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., according to the schedule, and a chapter representative plans to attend the ceremony, Taylor said. Kanouse said the representative might be asked to leave the ceremony and the media might not be granted access because of the secret location.
III Corps soldiers who cannot attend the ceremony because they lack the proper clearance are invited to attend the other celebrations on post.
The 4th Infantry Division's rear has an early party planned, with a run and a cake-cutting ceremony. The run is scheduled to begin at 6:30 a.m. in front of the division's headquarters on Battalion Avenue. The cake-cutting ceremony is scheduled after the run.
The 1st Cavalry plans to cut a cake at 2 p.m. at its training location on North Avenue.
The 13th Sustainment Command will receive two cakes from the local AUSA chapter, but a ceremony had not been planned by the command as of Tuesday, Maj. Jay Adams said.
But, Adams, the command's spokesman, said cake will be a welcome surprise.
"We are an expeditionary command. We're supposed to be prepared for anything," Adams said, laughing. "So, if there is cake, we can handle it."
The schedule provided by Taylor indicates a ceremony at 7:15 a.m. at the command's headquarters.
The West Fort Hood-based Operational Test Command celebrated the Army's birthday Tuesday evening with a cake-cutting ceremony at a dinner wrapping up Civic Leaders Day, which introduced area leaders to the command's mission.
Staff writer Leslie Hernandez contributed to this report.
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