Marine Corps 235th Birthday Ceremony
November 18, 2010
Marines of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region (JFHQ NCR) took a few brief moments from defending our nation to celebrate the Marine CorpsAca,!a,,c 235th birthday by holding a ceremony in the Joint Operations Center on Fort McNair Nov. 16, 2010.
The Marines honored their heritage by taking part in a Marine Corps birthday tradition of having the oldest Marine at JFHQ NCR offer a slice of birthday cake to the youngest Marine. This year the oldest Marine present was retired Capt. Teresa Ovalle, Public Affairs, and the youngest was Lance Cpl. Justin Carney, Marine Corps Barracks 8th and I.
The Marine CorpAca,!a,,cs website describes the birthday cake-cutting ceremony as being important to all Marines because it is an annual renewal of each MarineAca,!a,,cs commitment to the Corps, and the CorpsAca,!a,,c commitment to our nationAca,!a,,cs quest for peace and freedom worldwide.
The birthday cake is traditionally cut with the Mameluke sword, as a reminder that they are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword, so that our nation may live in peace. The Mameluke sword gets its name from the cross hilt and ivory grip design, similar to swords used for centuries by Ottoman warriors. The Marine Corps tradition of carrying this sword dates from Lieutenant Presley OAca,!a,,cBannonAca,!a,,cs assault of Derna, Tripoli, in 1805, where he is said to have won the sword of the governor of the city.