VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors and civilians assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) celebrated the U.S. Navy's 240th birthday on the command's quarterdeck, Oct. 13.
Guest speaker and retired Capt. Frank DeMasi spoke during the ceremony highlighting our Navy's history as well as our Navy's future.
"It's really an honor for me to be here with you all today, getting back to the Navy feels good," said DeMasi, who retired 15 years earlier and spoke about our Navy's capabilities to be "Ready Then, Ready Now, and Ready Always."
"The Navy has both a tradition and a future and we look with pride and confidence in both directions," said DeMasi, who also spoke of the future of expeditionary forces. "Our naval expeditionary forces are deployed throughout the world so you are ready always."
Force Chaplain Capt. Bruce Boyle delivered the invocation and benediction during the ceremony commemorating the memories of those who have served our Navy and nation.
"Today we celebrate the Navy's birthday, but we also extend the utmost gratitude to those service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. We respect their contributions and that of their families," said Boyle.
Master Chief Equipment Operator Terrance Thomas, assigned to NECC spoke of the importance of recognizing our Navy's people, platforms and presence worldwide.
"It's about remembering our heritage and the contributions of the brave men and women who have served before us," said Thomas, who marked his 28th year of service in the Navy.
On her second day at NECC, Legalman 1st Class Jhaka Gartrell reflected on service to one's Navy.
"It's a great day to be in the Navy," said Gartrell, who reported to the command from USS Enterprise (CVN 65). "It's a day to continue working toward accomplishing your personal goals, command mission and taking care of your Sailors to build upon our Navy's history."
During the ceremony, eight bells were struck to honor the birthday, followed by one single bell to signify the start of a new watch representing the 241st year of our Navy. NECC's Command Master Chief Corey Heinrich emphasized the traditions our Navy continues to honor as each year passes.
"On this 240th birthday of our Navy, we have the honor to serve in the greatest maritime fighting force the world has ever seen, but we do so with humility, continuing to build upon the framework those fighting Sailors forged before us," said Heinrich.
NECC is an enduring war fighting force providing sea-to-shore and inland operating environment capabilities across the full range of military operations that is focused on delivering combat effective expeditionary forces ready for worldwide operations now and into the future.
For more news from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command , visit www.navy.mil/local/necc/.