VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 commemorated the Navy's 237th birthday at a celebration held at its headquarters Oct. 12.
ESG-2, an operational staff of Navy and Marine Corps personnel, celebrated the creation, and service of the United States Navy through a bell-ringing ceremony, cake-cutting, and command cook-out.
"Each year we pay homage to those that have served before us. We also take the time to remember 237 years of battles won and lost - the history that make us who we are today," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Anthony Josey.
The event held significance for servicemembers throughout the command.
"The Navy birthday is not just part of Navy culture but also symbolizes our growth as a nation - it is part of our legacy," said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Angelina Gilliam.
"Although there are other days that celebrate military service - such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day -- the Navy's birthday is our day to be thankful for all those who have served before us, and to acknowledge all that we have accomplished in our own careers," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Kyle Wilson. "It is a reminder that we are in the world's best Navy."
The ceremony took place in front of the command's headquarters and was fashioned around two symbols which are forged together in front of the building - a Torii Gate and the ship's bell from USS Guam (LPH 9). The structure serves as a symbol of the partnership between the two services which compose ESG-2.
"It is an honor to celebrate our 237th birthday here in front of these symbols of presence and partnership which guard the passage of ESG-2 as we chart our course and provide safe direction to our Sailors and Marines," said Rear Adm. Ann C. Phillips, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2. "These symbols show our commitment to the amphibious force."
As part of the ceremony, the Chief of Naval Operations' and the Commandant of the Marine Corps' birthday messages were read.
"Being a Marine on a Navy staff provides the benefit of learning more about Navy customs, courtesies and traditions, and an opportunity to better appreciate both service cultures," said Maj. Sean Walsh, logistics planner.
In addition to overseeing and managing the readiness of the amphibious fleet; ESG-2 is a joint, rapid and robust deployable staff which supports the entire range of military operations from theatre security cooperation events to major combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from the East Coast of the United States to the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.
For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/esg2/.