Chattanooga Celebrates Historic 75th Armed Forces Week Parade

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U. S. Army Buffalo Soldiers

The Chattanooga Area Veterans Council and the 2024 Armed Forces Week Committee invite you to join the community for the 75th Chattanooga Armed Forces Week Parade at 10:30 am, Friday, May 3, 2024. Chattanooga is home to the longest, continuously-staged Armed Forces Day parade in the United States and the 75th anniversary parade promises to be spectacular.

Chattanooga’s own General B. B. Bell, USA [Ret] will serve as Grand Marshall of the parade and will keynote the luncheon immediately following the parade. General Bell, a graduate of the University of Chattanooga, was commissioned into the United States Army immediately after graduation. During his 39-year career, General Bell’s command positions included the United States Army, Europe and 7th Army; and simultaneously NATO’s Land Component Command. He commanded U. S. Forces, Korea; the Korea-US Combined Forces Command and the United National Command. As a colonel during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, General Bell served as General Norman Schwarzkopf’s Executive Officer.

The historic parade route will follow Market Street from MLK Blvd to the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.

Led by the national award-winning Watauga Drum and Fife Corps from Tennessee’s Sycamore Shoals Historic Site, more than 125 units will participate in the parade. Honored participants include active-duty military groups and veterans’ organizations, former Vietnam Conflict POW John Sparks, Brigadier General Carl Levi, USA [Ret], former AFDP Committee Chair and a participant in the first parade in 1949 as a JROTC cadet at Chattanooga High School, Vietnam veteran John Edwards, III, representing the distinguished Buffalo Soldiers of the late 19th century; and Toni Taylor, widow of the USA’s most recent Medal of Honor recipient, the late Captain Larry Taylor, Signal Mountain.

A memorial car will pay tribute to Bo Cline, US Army Air Corps, WWII, POW and Ralph Painter, USA, WWII, Europe, who have passed since the 2023 parade. Both Cline and Painter participated for years in veterans’ activities, including the annual parade.

Hamilton County’s JROTC Cadet Corps, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Bill Brooks, Director, and past chairman of the CAVC, and the Hamilton County Schools Mass Band, coordinated by Soddy-Daisy Band Director Joshua Light will be featured. The battalion United States flag, carried by Hamilton County students, always bring shouts and tears from the viewers along the parade route.

The Chattanooga Area Veterans Council members hope to see YOU at the parade.