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    26th Marine Expeditionary Unit celebrates Marine Corps birthday aboard USS Kearsarge



    Story by Cpl. Joshua Brown 

    26th Marine Expeditionary Unit     

    USS KEARSARGE, RED SEA – Marines and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit celebrated the Marine Corps’ birthday with a ceremony aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Nov. 10, 2015.

    Marines and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit celebrated the Marine Corps’ birthday with a ceremony aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Nov. 10, 2015.

    The 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, initiated Marine Corps birthday celebrations in a message Nov. 1, 1921. The celebration of the Marine Corps birthday is now a tradition observed by Marines around the globe on Nov. 10 in remembrance of the legacy of the Marine Corps and its accomplishments following its establishment in Philadelphia, Nov. 10, 1775, by the Continental Congress.

    “The 13th Commandant’s message discusses the spirit or ‘core of our Corps’ and the indomitable traits that define Marines,” said Col. Robert C. Fulford, the 26th MEU commanding officer. “I’d like to add onto that … the unity of the Marine Corps and the United States Navy.”

    The inception of the Navy and Marine Corps are tied together and they have served as partners since, said Fulford. We share a common heritage, common purpose and we provide our nation a capability that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

    The birthday ceremony is conducted in a formal manner and includes various parts that symbolize important facets of Marine culture.

    Most notably, a cake cutting ceremony that includes the passing of a piece of cake from the oldest Marine to the youngest; a metaphor for the passing of knowledge, experience and tradition from the generation of the former to the latter; a reading of Lejeune’s message; and a reading of the current Commandant’s message.

    The key speakers at the MEU’s celebration were Col. Robert C. Fulford and Capt. Augustus Bennett, the Commodore of Amphibious Squadron 4 and the distinguished guest.

    “Marines around the world have celebrated the Marine Corps birthday in a lot of different places,” said Fulford. “One of the most common is definitely on naval vessels.”

    It’s a wonderful day and opportunity to celebrate our birthday with our Navy brethren, said Fulford.

    “The [Amphibious Ready Group: USS Kearsarge, 26th MEU and Amphibious Squadron 4] team is the embodiment of that,” said Fulford. “There is no better place to be than deployed on a U.S. Navy ship prepared to do whatever our nation tells us.”

    Bennett gave a speech following Fulford’s statements.

    “I’m honored as I stand before you today celebrating 240 years of the United States Marine Corps and its honor,” said Bennett. “240 years of countless acts of bravery by men and women across the globe, 240 years of unmatched discipline and most importantly loyalty; loyalty to the ideals and traditions of those who came before you.”

    Marines uphold their ideals in all that they do, said Bennet. They are bound by a dedication to duty and self-sacrifice.

    “Today is much more than a birthday celebration in the traditional sense,” said Bennett. “Ladies and gentlemen this is your legacy.”

    The ceremony closed with the retirement of the colors and the playing of ‘Anchors Away’ and the Marines Hymn.

    The 26th MEU is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations as an expeditionary response force conducting operations to maintain security in the region.



    Date Taken: 11.10.2015
    Date Posted: 11.10.2015 10:42
    Story ID: 181534
    Location: RED SEA

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