PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Marines assigned to the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 held a cake-cutting ceremony in honor of the 242nd U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Nov. 11, while embarked and deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
Established in 1775, when U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Samuel Nicholas set up his recruiting headquarters at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia and solicited men for service in the new Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps has carved out a rich and storied legacy throughout the history of the nation.
"The birthday is a very sacred day for us as Marines," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jarrod Devore, executive officer of VMFA-323. "It reminds of us why we're all Marines. It's a great opportunity for us to be out here at the tip of the spear, which is right where Marines want to be - taking the fight to the enemy."
After the invocation, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Genesis Rodriguez read Marine Corps order 47, Series 1921, summarizing the history, mission and tradition of the Corps. Nov. 1, 1921, Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune issued and directed the article be read by every command in honor of the Marine Corps Birthday.
"It was an honor to participate in the event today," said Rodriguez. "We're constantly told that America doesn't need Marines, they want Marines. It's because we uphold those traditions, customs and courtesies. This is basically us rendering our respect to those Marines who came before us because they're why we're here today."
After the reading of the article, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Robert Tomlinson, commanding officer of VMFA-323, cut the cake and presented the first pieces to the oldest and youngest Marines in attendance symbolizing the experience and youthful spirit of the Marine Corps.
U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Adrian Fonseca was the oldest and U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Johan Vega was the youngest Marine present.
"We are proud of our history and our traditions," said Tomlinson. "The Marines who have gone before us are no different than all the Marines we have sitting out here today. This is a very unique opportunity for us."
The event concluded after a video presentation and a special meal prepared by Nimitz' culinary specialists.
"It's important that we take a few minutes out of our day to get together, sit down with each other and enjoy some of the delicious chow and enjoy each other's camaraderie," said Tomlinson. "Happy birthday, Marines, and semper fidelis."
VMFA-323 is assigned to Carrier Strike Group 11 and is the one of only two U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet squadrons that deploy aboard aircraft carriers.
For more information about VMFA-323, visit http://www.3rdmaw.marines.mil/Units/MAG-11/VMFA-323/
For more information about Carrier Strike Group 11, visit http://www.nimitz.navy.mil/csg_11.html or www.facebook.com/carrierstrikegroupeleven
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg11/.