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    26th MEU Marines celebrate Marine Corps birthday aboard USS Iwo Jima

    26th MEU Marines celebrate Marine Corps birthday aboard USS Iwo Jima

    Photo By Cpl. Jonathan Sosner | Colonel Farrell J. Sullivan, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Commanding Officer...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Jonathan Sosner 

    26th Marine Expeditionary Unit     

    As the rotor blades of the MV-22 Osprey and the jet engines of the AV-8B Harrier whirred in the background, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines celebrated the 242nd birthday of the Marine Corps with a cake cutting ceremony aboard amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) in the Atlantic Ocean Nov. 10, 2017.

    The cake cutting ceremony is a time-honored tradition where multiple generations of Marines come together, wherever they may be in the world, and celebrate the Corps’ storied history.

    Despite the high operational tempo of Combined Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), the Marines with the 26th MEU made time to commemorate and reflect on the history of the Marine Corps and celebrate past and present Marines and accomplishments.

    “The ceremony was very meaningful,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Johnson, a food service specialist, who made the cake alongside Navy counterparts. “It’s about upholding the standard of a legacy that has been passed on to us from past generations, and handing it off to the next generation, to those who come after us.”

    For many Marines, this was the first time celebrating the Marine Corps birthday in an informal environment.

    “Being in a working environment was definitely a reminder of why we are able to celebrate the birthday every year,” said Cpl. Troy Walter, a radio operator with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th MEU. “You could hear the helicopters on the flight deck and at one point someone test fired a machine gun off the side of the ship while the cake was being cut, which made the ceremony even more motivating.”

    The first piece of cake is presented to the oldest Marine in attendance, representing both seniority and experience. He then presents it to the youngest Marine in attendance, signifying the passing of knowledge and wisdom down from the most senior to the newest generation.

    According to Johnson, the cake was made entirely on the ship, taking six sheet cakes and approximately 16 hours to complete.

    While every Marine celebrates the Marine Corps birthday, regardless of where they are, this birthday was special for many of them.

    “It feels a little bit more meaningful, being here with our Navy brothers and sisters,” Johnson said. “On our birthday, we are able to be part of what we are truly meant to be: an amphibious assault force.”

    The ceremony on a ship in the middle of the ocean helped to prove what past generations of Marines have proved time and time again: Marines are ready for anything, at any time, in any clime or place.



    Date Taken: 11.10.2017
    Date Posted: 11.10.2017 19:47
    Story ID: 254965
    Location: US

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