CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Marines from 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) commemorated the United States Marine Corps’ 235th Birthday with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Nov. 10.
During the ceremony, more than 300 Marines celebrated the birthday with a reading of Gen. John A. Lejeune’s birthday message, a message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and a formal cake-cutting ceremony.
The Marine Corps was born Nov. 10, 1775, when two battalions of Marines were raised by a resolution of Continental Congress.
“For 235 years, at sea and ashore, Marines have succeeded in every clime and place … where hardship and adversity have often been the common thread. Today, in the rugged mountains and valleys of Afghanistan and recently in earthquake-damaged Haiti… in flood-ravaged Pakistan or off the coast of Africa, we continue to protect our Nation, just as we did 60 years ago in Korea,” said Gen. James F. Amos, 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
“To the Marines and sailors deployed overseas, to those training and preparing for their next deployment and to the warriors who no longer wear the uniform… we honor your selfless service to the Nation…Happy 235th Birthday, Marines,” wrote Amos.
After all speeches and letters were read, giving thanks to those who serve and continue to honor the legacy of the Corps, the Marines continued with the traditional cake-cutting ceremony, in which the first piece was presented to the guest of honor, Col. Anthony Ardovino, chief of staff, 1st MLG (FWD). The second piece was given to the oldest and youngest Marines present, symbolizing the passing of history and tradition from one generation to the next.
The oldest Marine present was Col. Edmund Bowen, born June 12, 1954, in Staten Island, N.Y. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Sept. 13, 1972, and was commissioned Feb 15, 1985. He is currently assigned as assistant chief of staff, G-3, 1st MLG (FWD). The youngest Marine present was Lance Cpl. Marquis D. Whiteside, born Nov. 23, 1991, in Muskegan, Mich. He enlisted in the Marine Corps July 27, 2009, and is currently assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward) as a warehouse clerk.
“While many Marines are familiar with traditions of Marine Corps birthday celebrations, deployed Marines gain significant perspective when experiencing them in a combat zone.”
“It really touches home,” said Sgt. Maj. Derrick Christovale, sergeant major of Headquarters and Service Company, 1st MLG (FWD).
While the Marines are enjoying their cake in celebration of their birthday, they will also continue to defend the freedoms Americans enjoy by supporting counterinsurgency operations thousands of miles from home.