The Town of Bel Air will celebrate Flag Day on Saturday, June 7, at 8 a.m. at the William A. Humbert Amphitheater in Shamrock Park.
Traditionally, Flag Day is recognized on June 14; however, the town coordinates the scheduling of this ceremony with Bel Air High School's Band and Chorus to ensure that their participation in this event does not interfere with their final studies and exams.
The event is free and open to the public.
Retired Brig. Gen. Carole Briscoe of the Maryland Army National Guard will be the featured guest speaker, and County Councilman James McMahan, a retired Army National Guard colonel, will be the master of ceremonies.
Author Samuel B. Fielder of Jarrettsville, a veteran of the Korean War who was a sergeant in the Marine Corps, will again recite his original poem "Our Flag."
Briscoe began her military career in 1978 through a direct commission into the 136th Combat Support Hospital, Maryland Army National Guard, where she worked as a clinical nurse in the emergency medical section and also served as primary medical support officer for the 1-175th Infantry Battalion.
Having served 26 years in the Maryland Army National Guard, 16 of those years were on active duty status as the S2/3 of the 104th Medical Battalion, 29th Infantry Division (L), S1 Division Support Command, 29th Infantry Division (L), Active Guard/Reserve Manager, Director of Personnel and Administration, Director of Human Resources and Commander of the 70th Regiment.
Briscoe earned her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Maryland, College Park, her master's in health care from Central Michigan University, Regional Center, Washington D.C., and she completed the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1983. In 1996, Briscoe graduated from the U.S. War College.
Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Army Meritorious Service Medal (with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), the National Defense Service Medal, Maryland Meritorious Service Medal, Maryland Commendation Medal and the Maryland Distinguished Service Cross with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters.
Briscoe began her civilian career in 1966 in nursing and left shock trauma in 1985 to go on active duty with the Maryland National Guard. She was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 2001 and returned to the traditional status of weekend drills and specified training periods and training days. During that time Briscoe was assigned to the position of director of finance and administration in the Maryland Military Department at the Fifth Regiment Armory from 2001 to 2003 and retired from the military in 2004.