Soldiers across the Army are getting a challenge as the service celebrates its 241st birthday this week.

As every post around the world rounds up a saber to carve into a sweet treat Tuesday, the service’s top enlisted soldier is asking colleagues to watch their waistlines, too.

"Earn your cake," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey.

Dailey, with a series of videos, is pushing soldiers to work out in honor of the service’s birthday.

"You don’t get to eat cake in the Army unless you do good hard PT," Dailey said in a telephone interview from the Pentagon.

Getting soldiers to run off a few calories is part of a wider initiative to sharpen Army readiness for combat across components. Dailey recently traveled to Kosovo to watch Fort Carson soldiers work alongside Pennsylvania National Guard partners.

"The positive story about this is how well they integrate together," Dailey said.

Dailey said soldiers here will soon start seeing a push to involve Guard and Reserve troops in training. Army leaders say they want the three elements of the Army to be nearly interchangeable in wartime.

Having part-time troops ready to fight if needed is more important due to Pentagon budget concerns. Cutting the active-duty ranks from the 520,000 wartime peak to 450,000 meant cutting combat units. That makes it harder to go to war without calling up the Reserve and Guard.

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