VICENZA, Italy – U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) celebrated the Army Heritage Month at Caserma Ederle, Italy, on June 2, 2023.
Through multiple events, including a 5K run, the Army Combat Fitness Test, and a luncheon for Soldiers, families and civilians, SETAF-AF joined numerous other Army units in celebration of 247 years of Army heritage.
In May 2019, the Secretary of the Army approved Army Directive 2019-20 implementing Army Heritage Month into the Army’s equal opportunity program. The directive was effective immediately and applied to the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve components. It established June as Army Heritage Month, centered around the Army birthday on June 14. It was subsequently incorporated into Army Regulation 600–20, Army Command Policy, in July 2020.
“Army Heritage Month is a time to commemorate every Soldier who has served in the Army for the past 247 years,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Elaina Paxton, Equal Opportunity advisor and program manager, U.S. Army Materiel Command.
This year’s event featured several family-friendly activities including team-building exercises. Soldiers performed the ACFT, working together while taking turns in the different events.
For instance, some individuals performed the sprint-drag-carry, a multi-stage event involving dragging a weighted sled, side shuffling, running while carrying kettlebells, then sprinting. Afterward, individuals were tasked with answering an equal opportunity question.
In addition, participants were challenged to balance a balloon on strings while running from one side of the field to the other. Once the participants delivered balloons successfully to the other side of the field, they had to piece together the Army Equal Opportunity logo in a puzzle.
At the culminating luncheon, Maj. Gen. Todd Wasmund, commanding general of SETAF-AF, spoke to participants about what Army heritage means.
“I firmly believe we are better because of our diversity, because having multiple perspectives about the complex problems that we face helps us to arrive at better solutions,” Wasmund said. "It helps us to lead better in our ranks, and (it) helps us to make better decisions when we need to make those decisions.”
SETAF-AF partners with African land force militaries, directs and supports all Army activities on the continent, conducts security cooperation including joint and multinational exercises, and sets the theater to ensure strategic readiness. SETAF-AF coordinates the African Land Forces Summit, the Chief of Staff of the Army’s annual conference with African land chiefs, and African Lion, U.S. Africa Command's largest multinational, joint, all domain exercise.