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News | Oct. 13, 2022

Defense Logistics Agency celebrates Navy’s 247th birthday

By Nancy Benecki DLA Public Affairs

The Defense Logistics Agency held a celebration in honor of the Navy’s 247th birthday with a ceremony at its headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Oct. 11.

The ceremony paid homage to the Navy’s birthday theme, “On watch 24/7 for 247 years,” with a performance by the Navy Brass Quintet and the presentation of colors by the Navy Color Guard.

Navy Rear Adm. Doug Noble, director of DLA Logistics Operations and the event’s keynote speaker, gave a brief overview of the Navy’s history, originating Oct. 13, 1775, when the Continental Congress purchased two vessels to cruise against British merchant ships.

“Two months later, Congress directed the construction of 13 frigates and the Navy was underway,” Noble said.

The Navy traces its history, traditions and spirit back to the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. Old Ironsides remains a source of pride for all sailors, “providing a tangible connection to our earliest foundations,” he said.

One of those tangible connections is very close to DLA, he added. Navy Cmdr. Thomas Coyne, who was the 57th commanding officer of the USS Constitution from 1972 to 1974, was also the father of DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Michelle Skubic.

“This connection reminds us of our history, and our heritage,” Noble said. “The USS Constitution stands as a reminder that the United States Navy is always ready to defend our shores, maintain sea control, and protect our national security and economic interests.”

Noble started his Navy career as a supply officer near the end of the Cold War.

“Back then, our Navy’s supremacy over the seas could not be taken for granted,” he said. “Time passed, and we enjoyed a generation where we were reliably in charge of the seas. Well, now we're back to the future in a new period of great power competition. One of the Navy's biggest challenges is to design a force that can meet and succeed in this new era of great uncertain certainty.”

The ceremony concluded with the traditional cutting of the birthday and a demonstration by the Navy Drill Team outside the McNamara Headquarters auditorium.