DLA Distribution celebrates the Marine Corps 243rd birthday

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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DLA Distribution employees gathered to wish a collective “Happy Birthday” to the U.S. Marine Corps Nov. 8, in honor of the its 243rd birthday. Paul Smith, DLA Distribution Current Operations served as the master of ceremonies for the event.

Opening this special celebration which coincides with the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 1918, Smith played the audio of the Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller’s birthday message.

Narrating the video, Neller said “on the 6th of June, 1918, Marines crossed the line of departure and attacked the west side of Belleau Wood. Charging through this field through heavy enemy fire. They paid a high price for their bravery. But they fought and they won, because they were Marines.”

Following the message, Smith asked all current and former Marines to join together to sing the Marine Corps Hymn.

DLA Distribution’s deputy commander, Twila C. Gonzales, Senior Executive Service, served as guest of honor, thanking everyone for their attendance to the event before inviting all current and former Marines to the stage for a traditional cake cutting ceremony with a Mameluke sword. The sword serves as a reminder that Marines are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword, so that this nation may live in peace.

Smith and Gonzales as well as DLA Distribution Current Operations, Mike Zanotti, oldest Marine and DLA Distribution Future Plans, Marine Capt. James Shipman, youngest Marine, participated in the traditional cake cutting ceremony as Smith narrated the symbolism of each step.

“As is our custom, the first piece of cake will be presented to our guest of honor, Ms. Gonzales. The second to the oldest Marine present. Upon receiving the second piece of cake, the oldest Marine will in turn pass it on to the youngest Marine, signifying the passing of experience and knowledge from the old to the young of our Corps. The third piece of cake further emphasizes the fact that we care for our young Marines before we look to our own needs.”

DLA Distribution provides services to Marine customers at DLA Distribution Albany, Georgia, and DLA Distribution Barstow, California. DLA Distribution Albany stocks a wide range of retail items used in support of the Marine Depot Maintenance Command. Items stored include vehicle data plates, weapon parts, nuts, bolts and washers. The Albany distribution center also performs kitting and inventories of the lineside stock items in support of the various production lines located within the local maintenance activity. DLA Distribution Barstow’s, Yermo Annex is home to the Industrial Support operation that provides receipt, storage, issue and delivery processes for the Yermo-based Marine Corps Maintenance Depot in Barstow. This operation delivers on a real-time demand schedule to support production lines, producing a variety of wheeled and track vehicles. With a hot, dry desert climate, Barstow is an ideal location for outdoor storage for large tactical vehicles and equipment. Among the major items stored outside are tracked and wheeled vehicles, ship propellers and drive shafts, anchors and radar units.