News: Combat Center hosts Marine Corps Pageant
Story by Lance Cpl. Paul Martinez
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Marines, sailors, veterans, friends, and family of the Combat Center experienced the history of the Marine Corps during the 238th Marine Corps Birthday Uniform Pageant at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field Nov. 7, 2013.
The birthday pageant is held to showcase the different uniforms Marines wore during the various conflicts the Marine Corps has fought in throughout its existence, and to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday.
The first uniform showcased was that of the Continental Marines in the midst of the American Revolution in 1776.
“It’s definitely an honor to portray the first uniform ever worn by Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Thomas Salukombo, administration clerk, Headquarters Battalion.
Generations of Marine Corps uniforms paraded onto the field. From The War of 1812, the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, Banana Wars, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Shield, and the uniforms worn today.
The uniforms were proudly showcased, reflecting the deep history of the Marine Corps and the men and women of different eras who answered their nation’s call.
“This pageant is about our history, and I think things like this make us appreciate the Marine Corps more,” Salukombo said. “Every day, we Marines add to that history.”
Spectators also got a first-hand look at the uniforms of female Marines from WWI, WWII, and modern day. Their uniforms and roles in the Marine Corps evolved over time as well.
Maj. Gen. David H. Berger, Combat Center commanding general, reflected on the meaning of the Marine Corps birthday, and how Marines, despite where they may be, find the time and resources to celebrate another year in the Corps.
“I have celebrated the Marine Corps birthday in many different places,” Berger said. “Including on a ship, in the Philippines, in Korea and twice in Okinawa. I have seen Marines in Iraq that managed to find steaks and celebrate their birthday in Fallujah.”
The pageant proved to be an event where Marines and veterans took pride in their history, one that is composed of honor, courage, and commitment.
“At this time every year, we take a moment to remember those before us,” Berger said. “We remember why we are Marines, and that when our nation is in a tough spot, they’re going to send us first. It will always be that way. Happy Birthday Marines, and Semper Fidelis.”