Marine Corps’ 241st birthday brings out Marine spirit

By Christopher Goulait

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Marines and friends of the military service filled the McNamara Headquarters Complex auditorium to celebrate the Marine Corps' 241st birthday Nov. 10.

Embracing the spirit and honoring the traditions of the Marines were host Shari Durand, Defense Threat Reduction Agency director, with keynote speaker Marine Maj. Gen. John Broadmeadow, Marine Corps Installations Command commander/Installations and Logistics (Facilities) assistant deputy commandant.

“I remember it drilled into me that the Marine Corps is nothing without logistics, because you cannot fight a war without your facilities and your logistics. So for General Broadmeadow to have that responsibility is obviously key for all of the Marine Corps,” Durand said in her introduction of Broadmeadow.

Broadmeadow acknowledged the teamwork between the Marines and DTRA as well as the Defense Logistics Agency, specifically addressing DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen Andy Busch in the audience to express his high opinion of the agency.

Citing Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller’s remarks at an earlier birthday ceremony, Broadmeadow emphasized the purpose of celebrating these events as a way to honor the past, reflect on what Marines are doing today and think about what will happen in the future.

“When you’re a Marine, and someone sticks that eagle, globe and anchor in your hand and calls you a Marine for the first time, there’s something that really inspires your soul,” Broadmeadow said.

“We use days like today to reinvigorate that spirit and remind us what we’re here doing, day in and day out,” he added. “Whether we’re forward-deployed or we’re sitting in the Pentagon, or whether we’re sitting in an organization like DLA or DTRA, we use today to celebrate the fact that we’re United States Marines.”

He noted that while the birthday is an opportunity to honor the legacies of the past Marines, it’s also a time to look to the future and ensure preparedness to defend the nation.

The ceremony also featured the several traditional highlights, such as the cake cutting with a sword, cut and shared between the host, guest, oldest Marine and youngest Marine. The historic birthday message of former Marine Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, commandant of the Marine Corps during World War I, was also recited, with a singing of the Marines’ Hymn as well.