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2nd AA Bn. celebrates anniversary at Gator Ball

4 Apr 2011 | Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

Marines of past and present with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, commemorated the battalion’s 69th anniversary during its annual Gator Ball celebration, held at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern, N.C., April 2, 2011.

The celebration gave retired Marines that served with the battalion an opportunity to catch up with those they worked with during their days in the Marine Corps.

“(Tonight) is a birthday celebration (but) it’s also kind of a reunion for a lot of former members of the battalion to socialize and stay in touch with the battalion,” said Lt. Col. Joseph C. Murray, the commanding officer of 2nd AA Bn.

The Marines of the past showed great pride in having served with 2nd AA Bn., citing its uniqueness, amphibious nature of getting Marines from sea to land and the battalion’s extensive use of the amphibious assault vehicle to fulfill its mission.

“I’m bragging, but I like to think we’re kind of unique,” said Richard P. Quirk, a retired master sergeant who spent several years with 2nd AA Bn. throughout his Marine Corps career. “There are only a couple of battalions in the whole Marine Corps and a handful of foreign countries that have this vehicle.”

The guest of honor at the event was retired master sergeant Mike Moore, who also expressed great pride for being a part of 2nd AA Bn. and the AAV community at large.

 “(We) are a very small community within the Marine Corps and I truly believe we bring the ‘amphibious’ to the Marine Corps,” said Moore. “We’re the guys that load up our vehicles with the grunts, go nose into the middle of whatever it might be on the beach and we continue inland as far as the mission takes us.”

As the guest of honor, Moore addressed the audience at length about the battalion’s history, exclusivity, leadership and pride. He felt extremely privileged to be chosen to speak to the battalion’s Marines.

“I don’t even know how to describe how it feels,” he said. “Chills run down your spine, your hair stands up. It’s unbelievable, absolutely awesome.”

Moore also attributed his success in the Marine Corps and the battalion’s continued success on its leadership, past and present.

“The staff (noncommissioned officers) and the officers in (our) community work hard at taking care of their Marines,” he said. “Second Assault Amphibian Battalion is an awesome organization!”