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News | Nov. 21, 2016

Marine Corps celebrates 241st birthday in Columbus

By Michael Jones DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Military members from all services and civilians at DLA Land and Maritime recently gathered in the building 20 auditorium to celebrate the 241st birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The focal point in the Marine’s Birthday celebration is the cake cutting ceremony which symbolizes the connection between Marines past, present and future.

Participating in her first special emphasis program as Land and Maritime’s new commander, Navy Rear Admiral Michelle Skubic shared a respect and fondness for Marines who serve and have served that many in the crowd echoed. “Charged with the responsibility of being the most-ready when the nation is least ready the Marine Corps has always answered our country’s call… I think the Marine Corps does birthdays best,” Skubic said.

Skubic briefly touched on the service the nation’s Marines have provided in conflicts and humanitarian efforts around the world. She also offered special thanks to all Marines for their service, sacrifice and patriotism and appreciation to the families of Marines who provide the support at home so Marines can execute their missions successfully.

The guest speaker for the Marine Corps birthday was one of Ohio’s own, USMC Lt. Col. Michael D. McCarthy, who is the commanding officer, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines.

After McCarthy thanked everyone for coming out to join in the birthday celebration he shared what the Marine Corps birthday is all about. He explained that the real meaning of the birthday celebration is the connection amongst and between Marines. “It’s a connection that transcends time, space, generations and locations – it connects the past, present and the future.

“We take our birthday very seriously,” said McCarthy. Sharing that these birthday celebrations were happening throughout the country and between Marines deployed worldwide McCarthy emphasized, “It’s not about the ceremony or pomp and circumstances – it’s about the connection amongst the brothers and sisters who are Marines.”

McCarthy also shared memories of participating in his first Marine Birthday Ball at Marine headquarters. At that time McCarthy was the youngest Marine when he stood in front of hundreds in the cake cutting ceremony and he explained that Marine participants in the ceremony represented the past, present and future – with him representing the future of the Marine Corps.

During the Land and Maritime celebration Columbus native Sgt. Gary A. Rodgers served as the oldest Marine, while the youngest Marine was Sgt. Austin Reed, a North Carolina native who was raised in Columbus. After the cake was cut it was passed between them to represent the connection that McCarthy referenced during his remarks.

The celebration also included a draft of the first Marine Corps birthday message issued in November 1921 by Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, the recital of the Marine’s prayer and singing of the Marine’s hymn.

Skubic also presented McCarthy with a token of appreciation for him sharing his time to participate in the Land and Maritime celebration of the Marine Corps birthday to conclude the celebration.