USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- As USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) began sailing across the Atlantic, beginning her deployment to the 5th Fleet, crew members took the time out to celebrate the Marine Corps' 232nd birthday, Nov. 10.
Nearly eight months before the Declaration of Independence, in a small tavern in Philadelphia in 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of two battalions of Marines to protect the shores of colonial America from the British Navy.
In 1921, Maj. Edwin McClellan, officer-in-charge of Headquarters Marine Corps' historical section, put in a memorandum to the then Commandant of the Marine Corps, Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, suggesting the original birthday of Nov. 10, 1775 be declared a Marine Corps holiday and celebrated throughout the Corps.
Accordingly, on Nov. 1, 1921 Lejeune issued Marine Corps order 47, Series 1921 – summarizing the history, mission and tradition of the Corps, and directed that it be read to every command on Nov. 10 each subsequent year, in honor of the Marine Corps birthday.
On the evening of Nov. 10 in wardroom 3, Marine Corps order 47 was read in honor of the Marines aboard the ship.
"This is the time that the Marine Corps takes every year to reflect on where our service has come in the last 232 years," said Marine Corps Maj. Guy Ravey, of special projects officer for VFA 37. "It's also an opportunity for our youngest Marines to learn more about their history and a time for the experienced Marines to pass on some of their sea stories."
Capt. Herman A. Shelanski, Truman's commanding officer was a guest speaker at the event and shared an experience with those in attendance, confessing that he was "raised by Marines."
"As a Naval officer, one who loves history and to think about where we have gone as a country, we could not have gotten here without the Marines," said Shelanski.
Lt. Cmdr. Chris Smith, Truman's chaplain and a prior enlisted Marine lance corporal commented on how the Marines take honor, courage and commitment to heart.
"This is a way for the Corps to honor all those hard chargers who have laid down their lives for our county in passing on the spirit of the Corps known as 'Esprit de Corps,'" said Smith.
The celebration came to an end with the cutting of a cake and all the guests shaking the hands of Ravey and Smith and wishing them a happy birthday.
"I've met the best people I've ever known and had some of the most exciting and fun times in my life because I'm a Marine," said Ravey.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.