News: For Corps and Country, Marines at Joint Task Force Celebrate the Marine Corps' Birthday
Story by Staff Sgt. Blair Heusdens
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — After months of hard work and planning, Marines from Marine Corps Security Force Company, service members and residents from U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, and service members deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo came together for the Marine Corps Ball, Nov. 14.
Nov. 10, marked the 234th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. The first formal Marine Corps ball was celebrated in 1925. Since then, Marines have celebrated the birth of their service by holding a formal ball, filled with tradition and ceremony.
"We are bound by our history and traditions which, in my opinion, are the things that separate us from the other services," said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Kenneth Waterman.
One of those traditions, the cake-cutting ceremony, symbolizes the passing of
knowledge between the older generation and the younger generation of Marines when the first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present, who in turn hands it off to the youngest Marine present.
Attendees also joined Marines around the world in viewing a video message from Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James T. Conway, highlighting the heroic contributions of Marines past and present, and joined in a toast.
The Marines of Guantanamo Bay put hard work and determination into preparing for the Ball. A committee of non-commissioned officers spent almost nine months planning each detail of the Ball and the ceremonial detail spent hours practicing the intricate drill and movements of the ceremony.
"It was a team effort by all to get it done," said Waterman.
The Marine Corps Ball represents more than just an opportunity to get dressed up and spend a night out with friends; it's a chance to share in the camaraderie that comes with being a Marine.
"The Marine Corps Ball is a time for Marines to come together and celebrate our heritage and lineage with fellow Marines," said Marine Corps Cpl. Jacob Gateman.
For more information about Joint Task Force Guantanamo, visit the Web site at www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil.
This work, For Corps and Country, Marines at Joint Task Force Celebrate the Marine Corps' Birthday, by MSG Blair Heusdens, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.