U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives
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Marines Celebrate Corps' 230th Anniversary

The Marine Security Guard Detachment in Montevideo hosts traditional Marine Birthday Ball

Posted: November 30, 2005

Marine Corps Color Guard sergeants Luke A. Shoup and Mike J. Russell, during the 2005 Marine Birthday Ball opening ceremony in Montevideo, November 18. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
Marine Corps Color Guard sergeants Luke A. Shoup and Mike J. Russell, during the 2005 Marine Birthday Ball opening ceremony in Montevideo, November 18.

The United States Marine Corps, a branch of the United States Armed Forces, was established by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. It is equipped and trained for land, sea, and aerial combat.

Formal commemoration of the birthday of the Marine Corps began November 10, 1921, and the first Marine Birthday Ball was probably held in 1925 in Philadelphia, since no records have been located of one prior to that date.

Marine Corps birthday celebrations differ at posts and stations throughout the world. All commemorations include the reading of Marine Corps Order No. 47, and the Commandant's message to those assembled. Most commands hold a birthday ball of some sort, complete with pageant and cake ceremony as prescribed in the Marine Corps Manual.

In Montevideo, the Marine Security Guard Detachment hosted a birthday ball to celebrate the 230th anniversary of the Marine Corps. Over 200 guests attended, including the Guest of Honor, U.S. Chargé D'Affaires James Nealon. The opening ceremony included a reading of the Commandant's message, General M. W. Hagee, the March on the Colors, and the traditional Cake Cutting.

The Marine Corps birthday cake-cutting ceremony is important to all Marines, as it is an annual renewal of each Marine’s commitment to the Corps. As is customary, the first piece of cake was presented to the Guest of Honor, U.S. Chargé D'Affaires James Nealon, the second piece of cake was presented to the oldest Marine present, Homeland Security officer Carlos Maza, and the third piece of cake was presented to the youngest Marine present, Cpl Jason A. Hernandez.

The 2005 Marine Birthday Ball hosts: Cpl. Steve J. Barber, Sgt. Gregory T. Sykes, Sgt. Luke A. Shoup, S/Sgt. Christian Jester, Sgt. Mike J. Russell, Cpl. Brian M. Whicker, and Cpl. Jason A. Hernandez. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
>Click to enlarge photo
 

The 2005 Marine Birthday Ball hosts: Cpl. Steve J. Barber, Sgt. Gregory T. Sykes, Sgt. Luke A. Shoup, S/Sgt. Christian Jester, Sgt. Mike J. Russell, Cpl. Brian M. Whicker, and Cpl. Jason A. Hernandez.

Guest of Honor James Nealon and Marine S/Sgt Christian Jester enter with line of escorts during the opening ceremony of the 2005 Marine Birthday Ball in Montevideo. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
>Click to enlarge photo
 

Guest of Honor James Nealon and Marine S/Sgt Christian Jester enter with line of escorts during the opening ceremony of the 2005 Marine Birthday Ball in Montevideo.

During the "Marching of the Cake" Marine escorts bring the birthday cake in as the Marines Hymn is played. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
>Click to enlarge photo
 

During the "Marching of the Cake" Marine escorts bring the birthday cake in as the Marines Hymn is played. The Marine Corps birthday cake-cutting ceremony is important to all Marines, as it is an annual renewal of each Marine’s commitment to the Corps.
 

A MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS

Gen. M.W. Hagee
U.S. Marine Corps
On November 10th, 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to raise two battalions of Continental Marines marking the birth of our United States Marine Corps. As Major General Lejeune’s message reminds us, the ensuing generations of Marines would come to signify all that is highest in warfighting excellence and military virtue. Each November as Marines the world over celebrate the birth of our Corps, we pay tribute to that long line of “Soldiers of the Sea” and the illustrious legacy they have handed down to us.
This past year has been one of continuous combat operations overseas and distinguished service here at home – a year of challenges that have brought out the very best in our Corps. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Marine courage and mastery of complex and chaotic environments have truly made a difference in the lives of millions. Marine compassion and flexibility provided humanitarian assistance to thousands in the wake of the South East Asian Tsunami, and here at home, Marines with AAVs, helicopters, and sometimes with their bare hands saved hundreds of our own fellow Americans in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Across the full spectrum of operations, you have showcased that Marines create stability in an unstable world, and have reinforced our Corps’ reputation for setting the standard of excellence.
The sense of honor, courage, and patriotism that epitomized those who answered that first call to arms 230 years ago is still indelibly imprinted on our ranks today. In commemorating our anniversary, let us strengthen our ties to the past by paying homage to those who have gone before us. As we honor the sacrifices of our wounded and fallen comrades, our commitment to one another remains unshakable. We take special pride in the actions of the Marines now serving in harm’s way, and rededicate ourselves to the service of our Nation and our Corps.
Happy Birthday Marines, Semper Fidelis!
M. W. Hagee
General, U.S. Marine Corps
MARINE SECURITY GUARD BATALLION

S/Sgt. Christian Jester
Marine Security Guard
Detachment - Montevideo
Marine Security Guards provide security services to selected Department of State Foreign Service posts to prevent the compromise of classified material and equipment and to provide protection for United States citizens and United States property.
The Marine Security Guard Batallion exercises command, less operational control of these Marines, in that it is responsible for their training, assignements, administration, logistical support, and discipline.
As far back as 1800, Marines have found themselves as protectors of American lives and property. In 1835, we can find the first recorded instance of direct protective support of an American diplomatic mission.
Because of the increased intelligence activities of various foreign nations following World War II, it became apparent to Congress that a pressing need existed for around-the-clock protection of United Staes Diplomatic Missions abroad by alert and reliable American personnel.
Today, Marines stand watch over 139 Diplomatic Posts throughout the world, with more posts requesting Marine Security Guard Detachments every year.
Marine S/Sgt. Christian Jester presents the first piece of cake to the Guest of Honor, U.S. Chargé D´Affaires James Nealon, during the Cake Cutting ceremony at the 2005 Marine Birthday Ball. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
>Click to enlarge photo
 

Marine S/Sgt. Christian Jester presents the first piece of cake to the Guest of Honor, U.S. Chargé D'Affaires James Nealon, during the Cake Cutting ceremony at the 2005 Marine Birthday Ball.
 
 

Cpl. Jason A. Hernandez, the youngest Marine present, receives the third piece of cake from S/Sgt. Christian Jester. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi)
>Click to enlarge photo
 

Cpl. Jason A. Hernandez, the youngest Marine present, receives the third piece of cake from S/Sgt. Christian Jester, after the first piece of cake was presented to the Guest of Honor James Nealon, and the second to the oldest Marine present, Homeland Security officer Carlos Maza.

 

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