Before the United States was born, there was a Marine Corps. For the last 236 years Marines have fought tirelessly to preserve the freedom of the United States and the traditions of the Corps.
This year, the Marine Corps commemorates 236 years of service as well as the sacrifice and dedication of countless Marines that those years represent.
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cut the Marine Corps birthday cake in a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington Nov. 8.
The cutting of the Marine Corps birthday cake is a long-standing tradition in the Corps and celebrates the spirit of the Corps that has been at the foundation since its inception.
“It’s this spirit that resides in us that has been with Marines for 236 years and it has resided in young men and women throughout the years all the way from the many wars that we have fought side by side with one another, to today in Afghanistan,” Amos said.
Amos gave the first piece of cake to Secretary of the Navy Ray E. Mabus, the guest of honor. The second piece of cake was given to retired Lt. Gen. Stephen Olmstead, the oldest Marine present, who passed it on to the youngest Marine present, Lance Cpl. Luke T. Anderson, Headquarters Battalion distribution management specialist.
“The significance of the oldest Marine handing the youngest marine a piece of cake symbolizes the trust and confidence and the experience being handed down to the youthful Marine, who is going to carry forward in our future battles,” said Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett.
Ceremonies like these remind young Marines of the sacrifices of past Marines and urge them to proudly carry on the legacy of the Corps.