FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHUKVANI, Afghanistan – The Marine Corps Birthday is an honored day for Marines and each year time is set aside to celebrate the traditions and legacy of the Corps.
Although forward deployed, the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment celebrated the 238th Marine Corps Birthday Nov. 10 by conducting the traditional cake-cutting ceremony at Forward Operating Base Shukvani in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
The Marine Corps Birthday is a time honored tradition when past and present generations of Marines gather to celebrate the storied history of the Marine Corps. The cake-cutting ceremony symbolizes the passing of responsibility from one generation of Marines to another.
During the ceremony, the Marines stood in formation as Lt. Col. Daniel Wittnam, the battalion commander, cut the birthday cake using a K-bar knife.
A K-Bar was used to cut the cake as a reminder that we are warriors, committed to carrying the sword, so that our nation may live in peace, said Staff Sgt. David Seros, a communication electronics chief serving with 3/7.
The first piece of cake was presented to the oldest Marine present, which signifies experience and seniority.
The eldest Marine at FOB Shukvani was Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Shell, Kilo Company’s company gunnery sergeant. Shell is a 47-year-old native of Elizabethton, Tenn.
“The eldest Marine passes a piece of cake to the youngest Marine present, just as for 238 years our experienced Marines have mentored and led young Marines that will fill our ranks and renew our Corps,” said Seros.
The youngest Marine present at FOB Shukvani was Lance Cpl. Kevin Love, a radio operator serving with the battalion. Love is a 19-year-old native of Cleveland, Ohio.
After the birthday ceremony was completed, the Marines all enjoyed a slice of cake. There was also a birthday celebration dinner during which the senior Marines in the companies served meals to the Marines under their charge.
“Every Marine celebrates the Marine Corps birthday, but I think being forward deployed allows Marines to cherish that moment even more,” said Sgt. Maj. Rafael Rodriguez, the battalion sergeant major. “While we are out here in a combat zone, the Marines reinforce that esprit de core while building on the great legacy of the Marine Corps.”