CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, RAMADI, Iraq -- The Marines, Sailors and Soldiers of 2nd Marine Division broke away from manning the helm of the division’s battle stations to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 230th birthday and to reflect upon the faithful service of Marines today and throughout history.
The 2nd Marine Division’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Richard Huck, led the ceremony commemorating the Corps’ illustrious history, which dates back to Nov. 10, 1775. In accordance with tradition, Huck cut the birthday cake and presented the first piece to the oldest Marine on his principle staff, Lt. Col. Jack Ciesla, the division’s G-1 assistant chief of staff. Ciesla then passed the cake to the youngest Marine on the staff, Capt. Jeffery Pool, who serves as the division’s public affairs officer, signifying the passing of knowledge and responsibility to the next generation of warriors.
In his birthday message to the troops, Huck commented that the Marine Corps birthday should be a time Marines reflect on the role the Corps has played in the history of the United States.
“[We should] reflect on the proud history of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service and the many contributions we make to the defense of America,” Huck said.
Huck also commented on the past and the present, reminding Marines to take time to reflect on the Corps many wartime and peacetime contributions.
“The 2nd Marine Division is once again on the front lines conducting operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism,” Huck said. “Our division is at the forefront of that fight. Our expeditionary forces are at work across the globe. Remember the men and women in uniform who proudly served or are serving on past or present battlefields. Many made the ultimate sacrifice or were wounded so that you and I could enjoy the freedoms afforded by our great democracy.”
Huck reminded the Marines of their commitment to the Marine Corps and to all Americans, both requiring that they continue to remain focused on the tasks ahead.
“Marines are either deployed, returning from deployment or preparing to deploy. This is the essence of what we do as Marines. [We should] rededicate ourselves to the Corps values of honor, courage and commitment and to retake our oaths of commissioning or enlistment,” Huck said before he repeated the oath. “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and I will bare true faith and allegiance to the same.”
Huck closed by expressing his gratitude for being able to lead the division and all the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and civilians who have contributed to its success.
“I am honored to lead this fighting division and the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and civilian Marines that faithfully serve it,” Huck said. “I also single out for special recognition our family members and key volunteers whose support is vital to what we do. I salute each and every one of you for your professionalism and dedication to our Corps and our country.”