(Center) Retired Master Gunnery Sgt. John Charles (right center) and Pfc. Dwayne A. Bergeron Jr. stand by the cake before it was cut for the Marine Corps' 244th birthday.

Marines at Henderson Hall celebrate 244 years of continuous tradition

On Sunday, the United States Marine Corps celebrated its 244th birthday with the annual birthday lunch and cake cutting ceremony.

The festivities kicked off Nov. 7 in the Cpl. Terry L. Smith Gym. Among those in attendance were Col. Robert L. Wiser, Headquarters and Service Battalion commanding officer; Sgt. Maj. Joseph R. Griffin, Headquarters and Service Battalion command sergeant major; Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen M. Harris, JBM-HH command sergeant major; Lt. Col Mark A. Paolicelli, JBM-HH deputy commander; and Marines and civilians from Headquarters and Service Battalion.

The celebration involved reading an excerpt from the Marine Corps Manual and a birthday message from the commandant. The birthday cake was cut by the commanding officer. The first and second pieces of cake were given to the oldest and youngest Marine in attendance. This signified the trust and confidence in young Marines who will carry on the Marine Corps’ tradition. Retired Master Gunnery Sgt. John Charles received the first piece as the oldest Marine. He was born in 1960, joined the Marine Corps in 1979 and retired in 2006. The second piece of cake was presented to the youngest Marine at the celebration, Pfc. Dwayne A. Bergeron Jr., who was born in 2000 and joined the Marine Corps in 2018.

The celebration closed with “Anchors Aweigh” and the Marines’ hymn “Semper Fidelis.”

By Marisol Rivera

Henderson Hall Public Affairs Office