GULF OF ADEN --
For over 238 years the United States Marine Corps has been the nation’s foremost force for expeditionary operations. From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli are not just lyrics to our hymn it is a homage to the Marine Corps continued unwavering dedication as a force in readiness, forward deployed throughout the globe. It is only fitting that today the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) find themselves forward deployed as they celebrate the birth of their beloved corps.
Celebrating the birthday deployed also brings with it a special bond as Sgt. Maj. William Slade, Sgt. Maj. 13th MEU stated, " Celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday while deployed brings with it an inherent bond that we now share with the thousands of Marines who have celebrated the birth of our corps in remote places all over the globe for the past 238 years."
In the afternoon sun Marines and Sailors of 13th MEU gathered on the flight deck of USS Boxer, an invocation was delivered, colors presented, messages from Gen John A. Lejeune and the Commandant of the Marine Corps were read and Cake was passed from the oldest Marine present to the youngest.
With the ceremony finished and some cake in their belly’s the Marines and Sailors shook hands, wished happy birthday to one another and returned to their task at hand, to serve as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
During this deployment the Marines and Sailors of the 13th MEU will see many holidays, birthdays, and special events come and go. They will gladly go through the hardships as they carry the torch that will continue to burn for another 238 years.