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NEWS | Sept. 15, 2021

Chicago’s 2021 Steuben Parade honors U.S. Army Reserve Soldier

By Capt. Michael Ariola 85th Support Command

U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Scott D. Hager, Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, with the 85th USARSC color guard team participated, in Chicago’s 55th Steuben Parade, September 11, 2021.

The parade, sponsored by the United German American Societies of Greater Chicago, celebrated German-American heritage, culture and contributions to the nation. The Steuben parade is part of the annual three-day German-American Festival, now in its 100th year.

Chicago’s parade is one of three Steuben parades held across the U.S. and gained national fame after it featured in the 1986 John Hughes comedy film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off”.

The parade kicked off at 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Lincoln Avenue and traveled through Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood. More than 40 parade units, consisting of marchers in ethnic costumes, floats, marching bands and dancers participated in this year’s parade.

Hager, a German-American, who has served as company commander for the 85th USARSC’s HHC since August 2019, participated in the parade as the Honorary Grand Marshall.

“It was an honor and a privilege to represent the Army Reserve, the 85th Support Command and German-Americans at the Steuben Parade,” said Hager.

During a 2010-2011 deployment, Hager served as the commander of the HHC, 96th Military Police Battalion, to Camp Sabalu-Harrison, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While there, he was the lead instructor for the Afghan National Army Officer and the Senior Non-commissioned Officer Leadership course

Hager’s top awards include the Bronze Star Medal and two Meritorious Service Medals.

At the conclusion of the parade, Staff Sgt. Richard Copulos, assigned to the 85th USARSC color guard team that supported the event, commented on the experience.

“I had a wonderful time marching in the Steuben Parade and engaging with Chicago’s German-American community. It was an honor to represent the Army, especially on Patriots Day,” said Copulos.

The Steuben parade received its name in honor of Maj. Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, also referred to as Baron von Steuben, a Prussian-born military officer. Von Steuben served as the inspector general of the Continental Army and General George Washington's chief of staff during the American Revolutionary War.

Historians credit Von Steuben with playing a key role in bringing order and discipline to the Continental Army with his instructions on military tactics and drill and ceremony. He authored the "Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States," which served as the Army's training and drill manual until 1814.