News: Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and its mission partners celebrate Navy Birthday in big way
Story by Joseph P Cirone
By Joseph P. Cirone
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs
WASHINGTON - Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling’s celebration of the Navy’s 237th birthday concluded after recalling naval history and enjoying a fun run.
The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert and the Master Chief of the Navy (MCPON), Mike D. Stevens, participated in the run with some 400 people at JBAB.
The telling of tales; sea stories and a ringing bell helped usher in the Navy’s 238th year of service to the nation.
On the morning of Oct. 11, JBAB Commanding Officer, Navy Capt. Anthony T. Calandra was piped aboard “USS JBAB,” a simulated Navy ship, by members of the White House Communications Agency at JBAB to speak about his experience as a Navy pilot, living at sea and ashore, as part of WHCA’s overview of Navy shipboard life program and the passing on of naval history and traditions.
WHCA’s Navy Birthday celebration included discussions about naval bells and time keeping aboard ship; the ship’s chronometer; customs and courtesies, including those related to the various situations a military member may find him or herself in when the National Anthem is played or the colors ceremony takes place and the tradition of piping aboard senior military and civilian leaders.
On Oct. 12, Calandra; Capt. John F. Couture; Navy Ceremonial Guard Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Nathan J. Strandquist, Sr. and Navy leaders from other commands and units at JBAB, as well as JBAB Air Force personnel and DOD civilians from throughout the base, assembled outside of JBAB’s ceremonial Quarterdeck at Enterprise Hall at the north end of the installation.
Some 200 sailors from the Navy Ceremonial Guard lined the front of the building and faced the flagpole and a ship’s ceremonial bell. At 9 a.m., Calandra gave the order to strike eight bells to signify the end of the Navy’s 237th watch (year).
“As we celebrate our Navy's 237th birthday, our history and heritage forms our identity, telling us who we are and what we stand for. Our core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment have been passed down from our founders, who charged the Navy with the solemn duty to serve as the "shield" of our Republic,” Calandra told the crowd.
He then spoke about the first real test of the Navy, which he said was during the War of 1812. Calandra declared the War of 1812 served as a critical turning point for the U.S. Navy. “The great battles that followed proved the fighting mettle of our Sailors and the cutting edge of our ship designs. These battles established both free trade and free navigation as critical national interests of our country, interests that endure to this day and are protected by the Navy and our Coast Guard partners,” he said.
A Navy pilot, Calandra reflected on the warrior characteristics of cunning and boldness that history has recorded in 1812 and how he observed firsthand how that history inspires Sailors of today's Navy as they continue to serve around the world.
“On this 237th birthday of our Navy, we have the honor to serve in the greatest Maritime fighting force the world has ever seen, but we do so with humility. We continue to build upon the framework those fighting sailors forged before us. History teaches us that with great power comes great responsibility.”
“From the great captains and crews who fought in 1812, to those who fought during the Civil War; from the convoys of World War I, to the major fleet actions at Coral Sea and Midway; from the blockade of Cuba in 1962, to the riverine operations on the Tigress and the Euphrates, our Navy has boldly and proudly put our shoulder to the wheel. We have championed peace and we continue to shield the Republic. Here is to 237 years of proud naval heritage, and many more,” Calandra exclaimed.
Following his remarks, the bell was struck a ninth time, to signify the start of the watch for the 238th year. The traditional cutting of a Navy birthday cake was followed by its eating and fellowshipping between the sailors, airmen and civilians present, before the attendees went about the day’s work.
At 1 p.m., JBAB’s inaugural Navy Birthday 5K and 10K Fun Run began on the base. The CNO, MCPON, Calandra and other military leaders joined enlisted and civilian personnel from all five military services based on the installation, as well as some members of their families to enjoy the end of another busy workweek and the eve of the Navy’s official Birthday, which concludes with the Navy Ball on Saturday and the Navy Band’s Birthday Concert on Sunday.
Following the run, another Navy birthday cake was cut for people unable to attend the morning cake cutting. The Cruisers, a component of the Navy Band, entertained the crowd and provided the festive feeling, while the runners enjoyed the food and refreshments that followed at JBAB’s Slip Inn.
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