Fort Belvoir, Virginia –
A musical prelude from the U.S. Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps set a celebratory stage for the Marine Corps’ 244th birthday ceremony at the McNamara Headquarters Complex Nov. 5.
On November 10, 1775, a corps of Marines was created by a Second Continental Congress resolution.
“On November 10, we all stop what we’re doing no matter where we might be throughout the globe and reflect on this occasion,” said guest speaker Brig. Gen. Arthur Pasagian, commander, Marine Corps Systems Command.
Wearing the Marine Corps uniform every day is a privilege, he said.
“It symbolizes what all of us invest in the service, our families and our great nation,” he continued. “Being here with all the distinguished Marines and fellow service members from all of our joint services is really an awesome opportunity to reflect on our birthday.”
The general said it was particularly fitting to celebrate in the headquarters building for the Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Contract Audit Agency and Defense Technical Information Center, adding that when Marines are called ashore to sustain operations, it’s no minor challenge.
“The things that come out of this building and through the network of defense logistics throughout this nation are really important, things like fuel and water that make a Marine air-ground task force so incredibly lethal,” he said. “Allowing those Marines to persist ashore is something that you contribute to. Your commitment to this nation and to the Marine Corps allows that to perpetuate.”
The general said training and equipping service members is a solemn, common mission.
“It’s something that’s big, and we owe it to all of our successors,” he said.
Pasagian closed by quoting the Marine Corps ethos.
“Being a Marine is a state of mind. It is an experience some have likened more to a calling than a profession. Being a Marine is not a job, not a paycheck; it is not an occupational specialty. It is not male or female, majority, minority, nor is it a rank insignia,” he said. “Rather, being a Marine comes from the eagle, globe and anchor that is tattooed on the soul of every one of us who wears the Marine Corps uniform.”
The celebration included a ceremonial cake-cutting by the oldest and youngest Marines present.