FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
The Defense Logistics Agency and Defense Threat Reduction Agency hosted a celebration of the Marine Corps’ 247th birthday at the McNamara Headquarters Complex auditorium Nov. 10.
DTRA Senior Service Advisor Marine Col. Ford Phillips gave the keynote remarks.
While military birthdays are typically festive events where the past is celebrated and pride is on display, the Marine Corps birthday is more than that to its members, Phillips said.
“We get to reflect on our history, and our history helps inform our identity. It builds the mantle that each of us must carry,” he said. “A good Marine only has to carry their share of that load with honor. A great Marine, with the right opportunity, under the right conditions, will add to our illustrious legacy through their heroism and courage.”
Marines will be in the middle of the world’s next conflict, he said, at the physical intersection of sea, land and air.
“When this happens, I'm confident of several things. Our Marines will be great. It'll be the best of us. It will make us proud. And our enemies, as always, will know our name,” he said.
About 70% of Marines are age 26 or younger, he added, for good reason.
“Young men and women do the fighting,” he said. “We are a warfighting organization first and foremost, and the composition of our force reflects that.”
Guests also viewed an official video celebrating the Marine Corps birthday.
Phillips cut the traditional birthday cake and was joined onstage by Marine Cpl. Christian Mikhelotti, the youngest Marine in attendance, and Chuck Brady, the oldest retired Marine.
Marines from the Headquarters Battalion at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, served as the color guard.