MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – On November 10, 1775, during the midst of the revolutionary war, the Continental Congress resolved that two battalions of Marines be raised for service as landing forces with the fleet. Two hundred and thirty-eight years later Marines still serve with distinction aboard naval vessels and around the globe.
Marines around the world whether deployed or in garrison, gather each November to celebrate the founding of the Corps and to remember those they have served with and those who have given the ultimate measure of service in defense of the Nation.
The staff noncommissioned officers and officers of the 2nd Marine Division celebrated the 238th Marine Corps birthday on November 7 at the Goettge Field House aboard Camp Lejeune.
“I believe the Marine Corps birthday celebration is one of the most important traditions the Corps has,” said Sergeant Major Bryan Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division Sergeant Major. “It is a time to rededicate ourselves to the Corps, tell our story, talk about our past and future and remember our fallen.”
Marines are fiercely proud of the history of the Marine Corps, and the traditions involved with the Marine Corps birthday demonstrate the loyalty that Marines have to each other and the institution of the Corps.
“Marine Corps birthday celebrations are about our history and future, rededicating our force in readiness and building a team that can fight at any time or place,” Zickefoose said. “And most of all, to remember those that have come before that survived hard times or have paid with their own souls to make our Corps the finest fighting force this country will ever see.”
While the Marines at Camp Lejeune will wear their dress uniforms and observe the pomp and ceremony involved in the tradition of the Marine Corps birthday celebration, many Marines celebrate the birth of the Corps no matter where they are in the world.
Zickefoose, who has observed more than 30 anniversaries of the birth of the Corps, said, the most memorable ones were when he was deployed. Cutting a cake with a knife in austere conditions and bringing it to Marines on post in Fallujah, Iraq or in Afghanistan is a fitting, present-day tribute to past warriors.
The camaraderie that is built during a birthday celebration no matter the location is one of the most important aspects of the event.
Zickefoose said his favorite part of the celebration is, “Talking to and enjoying time with our young Marines and sailors and hearing about their experiences. It is a time to relax and build a team that makes a better fighting force.”