SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) celebrated the U.S. Marine Corps' 242nd birthday with the traditional cake-cutting ceremony and reading of the commandant of the Marine Corps' birthday message, Nov. 8.
"As a Navy Medicine command, many of our staff have served with the Marine Corps and have the utmost respect for their history, heritage, and service," said Capt. Matthew Hebert, NHRC's executive officer and guest speaker at the event. "Even though we don't have active duty Marines at NHRC, many of our research and support staff are veterans who either served as Marines or Fleet Marine Force hospital corpsmen. There's a strong sense of connection with our Marine brothers and sisters, and it's only fitting to recognize their birthday."
The event was organized by Jerry Blanco, NHRC's facilities manager and retired Marine. In addition to the cake-cutting, Blanco set up a display table where fellow Marine and hospital corpsmen veterans could display mementos of their service. The table was filled with medals, pictures, plaques, uniform covers, certificates of achievement, and more.
Since their birth on November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps has been a maritime fighting force and the Navy's partner in projecting sea power. As such, the two services have a shared culture and mutual history.
Additionally, because every Marine is a rifleman, noncombatant personnel such as chaplains, doctors, nurses, dentists, and hospital corpsman come from the Navy's ranks to serve and support Marines, reinforcing the bonds between Marine and Sailor.
"We're a research command dedicated to the health and readiness of our Marines and Sailors," said Hebert. "The fact that so many of the civilians on our staff have served in the military, have walked in the boots of the warfighters we serve, motivates us. It fuels our commitment to improving the health and readiness of the Navy-Marine Corps team."
After Blanco read the birthday message from the commandant, he talked about the special bond between "greenside" corpsman and their Marines.
"I love my corpsmen," said Blanco. "They don't hesitate to charge into the thick of battle and would give their lives to protect their Marines. Just like Marines would do the same to protect their 'doc'."
As the DoD's premier deployment health research center, NHRC's cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation's armed forces. In proximity to more than 95,000 active duty service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation, and translational research.
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