From Young to Old, NMLC Celebrates Navy's 237th Birthday

Story Number: NNS121012-28Release Date: 10/12/2012 4:11:00 PM
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By Julius L. Evans, Naval Medical Logistics Command Public Affairs

FORT DETRICK, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Medical Logistics Command's senior officer and junior Sailor ceremoniously cut the first slice of cake Oct 12., during the 237th Navy birthday celebration at its headquarters on Fort Detrick, Md.

Commanding Officer, Capt. James B. Poindexter III, and Hospital Corpsman Apprentice Denise L. Matamoro preserved a Navy tradition meant to illustrate that despite differences in rank, all military men and women are part of the same team.

The NMLC team celebrated this rich naval history that is recognized annually at Navy commands worldwide.

The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established Oct. 13, 1775, by authorizing the procurement, outfitting, manning and dispatching of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some 50 ships over the course of the war, with approximately 20 warships active at its maximum strength. In 1972, then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition Oct. 13 as the Navy's birthday, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

NMLC followed a program as outlined by NAVADMIN 299/12. Of note was the span of pay grades incorporated into the ceremony. Lt. Cmdr. Gerald M. Hall, NMLC's director for Resources read the Secretary of the Navy's birthday message followed by Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW)Jacob Halfen who read the Chief of Naval Operation's message. Cmdr. Michael J. Kemper, director for Medical Equipment and Logistics Support ceremoniously rang the ship's bell eight times signifying the 'end of the watch.'

Chief Hospital Corpsman Ezra L. Johnson, the event's master of ceremony, explained the traditions associated with different elements throughout the ceremony. "The single, [ceremonial ninth] bell, traditionally used to signal the start of a new watch, represents the start of a new year, our 238th," Johnson said. The ninth bell was rung by Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Michael S. Kick.

The cake-cutting ceremony culminated the day's events.

Naval Medical Logistics Command is Navy Medicine's center of logistics expertise. It designs, executes and administers individualized state-of-the-art solutions to meet customer's medical materiel and healthcare needs.

For more news from Naval Medical Logistics Command, visit

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