The 13th Commandant, Gen. John A. Lejeune issued a Marine Corps Order that has become a tradition for 242 years and counting.
The order gives honor to the achievements, missions and traditions that the Corps hold dear.
In doing so, he also commanded that this special order be rendered every year to honor the Marine Corps Birthday, November 10, 1775. This reminds Marines of a long lasting legacy, they truly respect.
In 1925, Marines begin to not only honor but celebrate the Birthday of the Marine Corps. Festivities begin with Gen. Lejeune unveiling a memorial plaque at Tun Tavern. The goers then headed to the Benjamin Franklin Hotel in Philadelphia, Pa., where the first formal Birthday Ball took place. This has become a tradition for Marines here at Marine Corp Logistics Base Albany and all across the world.
Marines continue to celebrate and honor the November 10th Marine Corps Birthday with these similar events. Sgt. Maj. Johnny Higdon, base sergeant major, MCLB Albany says that celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday "helps us understand the history of how the Corps came into existence."
The cake-cutting ceremony gives proof to this concept with its symbolic meaning and purpose. When the birthday cake is carried out, the oldest Marine is presented with a slice of cake. The oldest Marine takes a bite and then passes it down to the youngest Marine. The cake symbolizes tradition being passed down from one generation to another.
"I was honored to be a part of a long held tradition." said Lance Cpl. Tyler P. Schoolcraft, Computer Information Systems Division Network Administrator, MCLB Albany, who was a part of this ceremony at MCLB Albany. He is 19 years old and stood as the youngest Marine during the ceremony. "I look forward to being a part of the same ceremony, as the oldest Marine." he added.
The cake-cutting ceremony is only one of the many ways Marines Celebrate. Higdon said one can look forward to hundreds of Marines arriving in their dress blues in preparation for the Birthday Ball. This event takes place every year to honor Marines and their accomplishments. It also allows them to gather for a night of fun and remembrance. "Marines look forward to spending time together in a relaxed environment where relationships formed, will last a lifetime," Higdon added.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, we hope you celebrate with pride and honor. We encourage all to reach out to their fellow Marines near and far to wish them a Happy Birthday.