Friday, November 11, 2011

Armistice Day service at Camp Bastion 11/11/11

Armed Forces personnel who have been killed while serving their country since the First World War have been remembered today at ceremonies across the UK as well as in Afghanistan and across the world. 

Armistice Day 2011 was marked at 1100hrs with two-minute silences held on Whitehall in London, Camp Bastion in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Armistice Day was when peace returned to Europe at the end of the First World War. The agreement between Germany and the Allies after four years of fighting took effect from the 'eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month' in 1918.
In London, a service was held for the 92nd time at the Cenotaph memorial, organised by the Western Front Association. The event was attended by members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association and staff from the Ministry of Defence, including the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, and Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall.
At the Cenotaph service in London, the start of the two-minute silence at exactly 1100hrs GMT was heralded by the playing of the Last Post. Its completion was marked with the Reveille.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, attended a service at Camp Bastion in Helmand province.
Lieutenant General James Bucknall, the Deputy Commander of ISAF forces, was also there, and laid a wreath representing all fallen British and Commonwealth personnel.
Senior Padre, Lieutenant Colonel Cole Maynard, officiated over the service and a bugler from 2nd Battalion The Rifles played the Last Post as all officers and warrant officers saluted. At 1100hrs a 105mm light gun from the Joint Fires Group fired one round marking the start of the two minutes' silence and again to end it. The bugler then played the Reveille.

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 An Armistice Day parade has been held at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan today, 11/11/11. Conditions were clear and sunny. UK Tri-service and Coalition personnel, as well as civilian contractors, MOD personnel and other civilian staff working at the Camp attended the service. Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Defence, led tributes to the fallen. Among other VIPs were Lt Gen JJC Bucknall CBE Late COLDM GDS. Comd JFSp(A) Cmdre CL Walker RN, DComd RC(SW), Brig N Welch OBE Late RGBWLI and Comd BSN, Gp Capt C D Da'Silva MA RAF.

US Marines based in Australia!

"BARACK OBAMA is to announce that the US will begin rotating Marines through an Australian base in Darwin in a permanent new military presence, intensifying the alliance in a sign of heightened concern about China."

He is scheduled to make the announcement with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, when they visit Darwin next Thursday during Mr Obama's first visit to Australia as president. The 26-hour visit will mark the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance.
The Marines are the chief US ground combat force in the Pacific theatre, the so-called ''tip of the spear''.
Two-thirds of all US Marines are based in the Pacific, with big concentrations at US bases on Okinawa Island in Japan and Guam, a US territory 2000 kilometres north of Papua New Guinea.
''This is all about the rise of China, the modernisation of the People's Liberation Army and, particularly, it's about the increased vulnerability of US forces in Japan and Guam to the new generation of Chinese missiles,'' said Alan Dupont, the Michael Hintze professor of international security at Sydney University.

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Three U.S. soldiers injured in Taliban attack

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Three U.S. soldiers were wounded and three Afghan police officers killed when Taliban insurgents attacked an Afghan government building, authorities said.
Insurgents took two Afghan officials hostage during the attack Thursday at the Chamkani District government building in Paktia Province, said Master Sgt. Nicholas Conner, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force Troops. The hostages were the local head of Afghan intelligence service and the deputy governor of the district, The New York Times reported.
Afghan officials said no one was still being held hostage by the insurgents. A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, said "we have taken over the district center."
Taliban leadership released a statement saying the attack was in reaction to NATO claims that Taliban attacks have declined by 8 percent during the first nine months of this year compared to 2010.
"If [NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh] Rasmussen and all his allies leave Afghanistan completely then the attacks on them will reach zero and he can propagate the notion even more and say that the number of Taliban attacks have fallen further," the statement read.
The United Nations reported in September Taliban attacks in Afghanistan had increased by 39 percent during the first eight months of the year.

3 Afghan police die in attack by 5 suicide bombers

Five suicide bombers attacked a local government office in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, starting a gunbattle that left three Afghan police dead and two others wounded, officials said.

Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan — Five suicide bombers attacked a local government office in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, starting a gunbattle that left three Afghan police dead and two others wounded, officials said.

Three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to a compound in Zumat district, a hotbed of the insurgency along the Pakistan border, said Paktia provincial spokesman Ruhollah Samoon. The area is controlled by the Haqqani militant network, which has ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida.
Samoon said two other attackers, who also were wearing vests packed with explosives, were killed by police when they tried to storm the compound.
Provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Safi said Afghan elders from the area were meeting there with local government officials when the attackers struck.
In the south, Afghan police say a remote controlled car bomb exploded near a NATO convoy, killing two Afghan men and wounding a young girl, said Abdul Haq Chopan, a police investigator in Helmand province.
The explosion occurred Thursday afternoon in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

11/11/11 - Veterans Day the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 2011, we will pause to honor America's Veterans and celebrate their contributions to our way of life. Few have given more to our Nation than the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces in peace and in war.

Remarks by Secretary Eric K. Shinseki

Message from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Veterans Day 2011
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Manhunt Launched for Afghan Who Shot 3 Aussie Troops in Afghanistan

By Windsor Genova - IBTIMES //

Australian troops in Afghanistan are hunting an Afghan soldier who shot and seriously wounded three of their colleagues at the Patrol Base Basir in Uruzgan province on Tuesday.

The Afghan National Army (ANA) identified the shooter as Mohammed Rozi from the northern province of Takhar. He escaped using an ANA jeep after firing an automatic weapon and grenade launcher from a tower on troops preparing for their evening meal. The jeep was found abandoned later.
Defence Force chief General David Hurley said an unmanned aerial vehicles is being used to hunt down the soldier, according to the Daily Liberal.
Australian troops want Rozi alive to know his motive for the shooting.
Afghan ambassador Nasir Andisha suspects that the attack was part of the Taliban and al Qaeda's tactic to "shake the resolve" of the ANA, which will take over the task of securing the country from foreign troops. 

Meanwhile, the wounded Australian soldiers are being treated at a military hospital at the Kandahar Air Base.
Just 10 days ago, an Afghan soldier also shot and killed three Australian troops and wounded seven others. The shooter was killed by Australian and Afghan soldiers who returned fire.
In May, one Australian soldier was also killed by an Afghan soldier. American special forces then killed the Afghan soldier.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the incidents will not deter the Australian troops in Afghanistan from finishing their mission, which is to train ANA members so they can independently secure their nation. The mission's deadline is 2014.
A total 32 Australian troops have died while 209 were wounded in Afghanistan. Australians wanted the troops to return home.

R.I.P. - Pfc. Cody R. Norris

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
            Pfc. Cody R. Norris, 20, of Houston, Texas, died Nov. 9 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
            For more information the media may contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at 785-307-0641 or 785-375-1308.

The History of Veterans Day

Did you know Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day? President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as a day to honor those who served during the Great War. It wasn't until after World War II that it became known as Veterans Day and honored all who serve or have served in the United States military.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry Veterans Day Message

Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry sends a message for Veterans Day.

Corporate America supports Veterans

from thisainthell blog

Virginia Supportive Housing, Richmond, Va. – has developed eight permanent supportive housing units exclusively for homeless veterans with disabilities. VSH manages these units and provides support services to the residents.

· National Military Family Association, Alexandria, Va. – recognizes the unique challenges today’s military spouses face in pursuing additional training or education. The funds will support educational scholarships for tuition, vocational training, professional certification and graduate school.

· Wounded Wear, Chesapeake, Va. – provides modified clothing for wounded warriors that can be worn around prosthetics or medical devices necessary for healing.

· Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, Petersburg, Charlottesville and Staunton, Va. – supports the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, which helps veterans, National Guard and Reserves and their families connect to health and

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Coalition forces mark Remembrance Day at New Kabul Compound

Canadian Master Cpl. Richard Ross, foreground, a dental technician with the Canadian Health Services Advisory Team at the New Kabul Compound, participates in a Remembrance Day ceremony at the facility Nov. 11. In the background, at left, is Canadian Capt. R.J. Kretschmann, a doctor with the team, and at right is Canadian Lt. Col. Paul Burke, also a doctor with the team.

U.S. Forces Afghanistan
Story by Erika Stetson

KABUL, Afghanistan – Dozens of U.S., Canadian and Greek troops gathered for a Canadian-led Remembrance Day ceremony at the New Kabul Compound Nov. 11.

The ceremony is an international observance that honors and remembers fallen military members, similar to Veterans Day in the U.S., which falls on the same date.

“This is a solemn day,” said Canadian navy Capt. Rebecca Patterson, of Ottawa, Ontario, the compound’s senior Canadian health services adviser. “It’s a true act of remembrance.”

About 15 Canadians, 20 Americans and a dozen Greek troops participated. They included, along with Patterson; Army Maj. Gen. William Rapp, Deputy Commander-Support for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan; and the organization’s top enlisted official, Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Curry.

The ceremony included a minute of silence, a reading from the poem “In Flanders Field,” a wreath laying, and the playing of the Canadian national anthem and the Royal Anthem.

“I lost a soldier in Afghanistan in 2007,” said Warrant Officer Terry Auld, of Courtenny, British Columbia, acting sergeant major for the Canadian Health Services Advisory Team, after the ceremony. “So it’s very personal, as it is for all of us. We’ve all lost someone we know.”

He noted that the ceremony is marked in communities and on installations throughout Canada and on all bases where Canadian troops are located overseas.

Patterson called the event a way to link the sacrifices of the past with present missions and future goals. 

“We’re willing to sacrifice for freedom because it’s that important,” she said.

Private Matthew Thornton killed in Afghanistan

Private Matthew Thornton killed in Afghanistan:
It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Private Matthew Thornton, from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS), was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday 9 November 2011.

Private Matthew Thornton. Picture: via MOD
Private Matthew Thornton. Picture: via MOD

Private Thornton was a Territorial Army soldier of 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who deployed to Afghanistan with Support Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS), as an element of Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen’s Royal Hussars Battle Group) in October 2011. He operated out of Checkpoint Khoorashan in the Babaji area at the northern tip of the Lashkar Gah district.

On 9 November 2011, his and another multiple were patrolling to the north of Checkpoint Loy Mandeh in order to engage with the Afghan people and to develop a better understanding of their area. During the patrol his multiple was engaged by small arms fire and grenades. While he was manoeuvring and returning fire he was caught in the blast from an improvised explosive device and tragically was killed.

Continues at: – Private Matthew Thornton killed in Afghanistan

Taliban Attack U.S.-Afghan Meeting in Border District

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents attacked a district government center in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday while American troops were meeting with local officials inside, wounding three American soldiers and killing three Afghan police officers, according to Afghan and American officials.

The attack was carried out by a group of 5 to 10 insurgents, some wearing suicide vests, who also took two Afghan officials hostage at the Chamkani district government building in Paktia Province, said Master Sgt. Nicholas Conner, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force troops in eastern Afghanistan.

The hostages included the local chief of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service, as well as the deputy governor of the district, he said.

It was unclear whether fighting had completely ended by nightfall, with varying accounts from officials. It was also unclear what had happened to the hostages who had been taken, but Afghan officials said no one was still being held after the fighting died down Thursday night.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, reached by telephone at an undisclosed location, said that “we have taken over the district center.”

Sergeant Conner said: “Technically, I guess you could say they have control of the building at this time, just like a bank robber has control of the bank when he takes hostages.”

The attack came as the Taliban leadership released a statement on the group’s Web site on Thursday mocking claims by the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that Taliban attacks had been declining, and citing contrary information from “other enemy officials” that they had been increasing. The Taliban claims were reported by SITE, an organization that monitors jihadi and extremist Web sites.


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Navy signs $17-million deal for armed drones

Navy signs $17-million deal for armed drones

The Northrop Grumman deal calls for placing laser-guided missiles on the Fire Scout helicopter, which has been restricted to reconnaissance missions.


In 100 years of naval aviation, only the most experienced combat pilots have performed the difficult task of launching an attack on a nearby target and returning the aircraft to a ship as it bobs in the ocean.

Now that tricky task is being turned over to unmanned drones.

With a $17-million contract, the
U.S. Navy has taken the first step in arming its fleet of drone helicopters with laser-guided missiles to blast enemy targets. The Northrop Grumman Corp.-made MQ-8B Fire Scout would be Navy's first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons when it's delivered within 15 months.

"It's a very significant moment in naval history," said Mark L. Evans, a historian at the Naval History and Heritage Command. "The weaponization of this aircraft represents a quantum leap in technology compared to what has come before."

 Read more: Navy signs $17-million deal for armed drones

In Afghanistan, special units do dirty work

a special report by Carmen Gentile, for USA TODAY,
with some history, photos, stats

CHAMKANI, Afghanistan — Insurgents prowling the steep mountains and narrow valleys of this remote land have a name for the U.S. Special Forces: "Bearded Bastards."
Growing facial hair is one way U.S. Green Berets blend in among the locals here along the Pakistan border. Their specialty is what the military calls the "self-sustaining element," a force able to fight for long periods in extreme conditions.
"We operate in the seams and gaps where conventional forces can't go," says Maj. Eric Wright, a Special Forces advance operational base commander in nearby Khost Province.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks more than a decade ago, U.S. Special Forces have been embedded here — and in conflict areas such as the Philippines, Yemen and Somalia — in an attempt to quash insurgent Islamists and train locals to take up the fight against them.

Veterans Day Honors Service, Sacrifice

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2011 – Until the 1960s, veterans groups used the red poppy as the symbol of Veterans Day. In Great Britain, it still is.

The symbol comes from a poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian doctor John M. McCrae in 1915.

The first two verses of McCrae’s three-verse poem read:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.”
McCrae tended to the first victims of a German chemical attack on the British line at the Belgian town of Ypres during World War I.
The fields of Flanders, where some of the most horrific battles occurred, are now dotted with cemeteries filled with the war dead. If you fly across France and Belgium, you can still see the remains of the trench systems of the war.
The Great War of 1914 to 1918, called the first modern global conflict, was an enormous divide for the world. Millions of service members died in the conflict. Millions more civilians were also killed or died of disease.
It truly was a world war. Troops fought in Turkey, the Balkans, East Africa and the Middle East as well as in Russia and France. The war caused the Russian czar to fall and allowed Vladimir Lenin to build what would become the Soviet Union.
On Nov. 11, 1918, that war came to an end. At 11 a.m. the shooting stopped. A war that saw 20,000 British "Tommies" die in 20 minutes at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, was over. The war that saw 1,384,000 French "poilus" die, ended in the trenches that extended from Switzerland to the Belgian coast. Americans, who joined the war in 1917, lost more than 100,000 soldiers in the fighting.
The Germans had signed an armistice with the allies and to the generations of The Great War, Nov. 11 remains Armistice Day. For decades, veterans sold paper poppies to raise money for memorials and for the families of those who died in the war.
But The Great War was not, as President Woodrow Wilson hoped, "the war to end all wars." World War II rose from its ashes, and millions more died to stop the mad dreams of dictators from 1939 to 1945. The U.S. Congress changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans after more blood was spilled during the Korean conflict to halt aggression.
Congress moved Veterans Day, along with most other federal holidays, to be celebrated on the closest Monday to the traditional date. But soon Congress reversed itself on Veterans Day because of public pressure to honor the powerful symbolism of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

This year, national observance of “11-11-11,” will include a presidential wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery and ceremonies around the country.

Along with two world wars and Korea, Americans and their allies have fought and died in Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.

Today, the United States' armed forces confront enemies around the world. U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen defend freedom on station wherever, whenever they are called.

Those serving today are ensuring that they do not ignore the final verse of McCrae's poem:
"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
Editor’s Note: This is a slightly revised version of a story initial published by the American Forces Press Service in 2005.

Nov. 10., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan
For Immediate Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 10, 2011) — A combined Afghan and coalition force detained an insurgent leader and several additional insurgents during a security operation in Kandahar district, Kandahar province, Monday.
The leader was responsible for planning improvised explosive device attacks and distributing weapons to insurgents.
The leader and his subordinates were detained without incident and no civilians were harmed during the operation.
In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:
In Maiwand district, Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition force discovered a drug cache during routine operations yesterday.  The cache consisted of 500 pounds (227 kilograms) of poppy seeds which have been scheduled for destruction at a later date.
A combined Afghan and coalition security force patrol discovered a weapons cache in Marjeh district, Helmand province, today. The cache consisted of 2,640 pounds (1,200 kilograms) of ammonium nitrate, which was destroyed at the scene.  There were no injuries or damages as a result of the controlled detonation.
In Bagram district, Parwan province, a coalition security force discovered a cache of unexploded ordinance while on patrol Tuesday. The cache consisted of three 105mm projectiles, one anti-personnel mine and one 62mm mortar round. The weapons were recovered by the security force for destruction at a later date.
A combined Afghan and coalition security force patrol discovered a weapons cache in Deh Yak district, Ghazni province, today. The cache consisted of seven mortars, one 40mm high-explosive round, one stick grenade, and one pressure plate, which were destroyed at the scene. There were no injuries or damages as a result of the controlled detonation.

Another Afghan soldier turns rogue, wounding three Australians

ANOTHER Afghan National Army soldier has opened fire on fellow troops, wounding three Australians.
The Afghan National Army said one of its rogue soldiers opened fire on the Australians at Charmistan in the Uruzgan province.
Two Afghan soldiers were also hit in the attack.
All five soldiers have been taken to the military hospital at Tarin Kot with non-life threatening injuries.
The gunman fled the scene of the shooting in one of the Afghan National Army vehicle.
It is unclear what promoted the attack, which comes just 10 days after three Australians were killed and seven more were wounded by another rogue Afghan soldier in Kandahar province.

from AFP:
A rogue Afghan soldier was on the run Wednesday after shooting and wounding three Australian troops, days after a similar incident left three Australians dead, the defence department said.
The men suffered serious wounds but all were in a stable condition after an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire with an automatic weapon and a grenade launcher at a joint base at Charmistan in Uruzgan province on Tuesday.
Two Afghan soldiers were also wounded before the man fled in an Afghan army vehicle.
The incident comes less than a fortnight after another Afghan soldier killed three Australians and wounded seven others when he opened fire during a parade in Kandahar province.
"It is too early to speculate that the two incidents are linked," defence force chief David Hurley told reporters, adding that nine or 10 Australians and about 30 Afghans were at the base when the latest attack occurred.
"I stress that there is no simple one-line explanation to this incident or the previous incident.
"We need to do some digging, further digging," he added when asked whether he knew of the motive. "It could be personal grievance, it could be religious ideology. We don't know, there was no indication."
In a statement published on their Voice of Jihad website, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed the attacker had been in touch with the insurgents before he struck and had now handed himself over to the local Taliban.
The statement added that he escaped the base in a tank along with ten other soldiers and that the vehicle and ten Kalashnikovs were now in Taliban hands.
The Taliban, who claimed ten Australian soldiers died in the incident, are known routinely to distort and exaggerate their public statements.
Local Afghan officials said a hunt was under way for the rogue soldier.
The attack was the third such shooting to affect Australian troops this year, after an Afghan soldier killed an Australian lance corporal in May as they shared guard duties at a patrol base in the Chora Valley.
The latest incident took place just days after Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Afghanistan, making an unannounced stopover to meet troops in the restive southern province of Uruzgan.
She said Wednesday that Australians would continue to train Afghan National Army soldiers, despite the risk.
"I'm very conscious that this attack, coming so soon after the dreadful attacks of October 29, will . . . cause Australians to question our mission in Afghanistan and the trust we have in Afghan National Army soldiers," she said.
"As distressing as these incidents are, as dreadful as these incidents are, our mission in Afghanistan does need to continue.
"Training is pivotal to that mission and our purpose in Afghanistan is to deny Afghanistan as a country in which terrorists can train to wreak violence around the world," she added to reporters.
Australia has 1,550 troops stationed in the strife-torn country, with 32 so far killed in the conflict.
The country's troops were first deployed to Afghanistan in late 2001 before being pulled out in 2002. They were redeployed in 2005 and have been training Afghan soldiers in Uruzgan.
Canberra intends to keep troops in the central Asian nation until 2014.

Afghanistan attack leaves 5 suicide bombers, 3 police officers dead

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials say five suicide bombers have targeted a local government office in eastern Afghanistan. Three Afghan police were killed and two others wounded.
Paktia provincial spokesman Ruhollah Samoon says the bombers attacked a compound in the Zumat district — an area controlled by the al-Qaida affiliated Haqqani militant network.
Samoon says three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance, and two others were killed by police when they tried to storm the compound.
In the south, Afghan police say a remote-controlled car bomb exploded near a NATO convoy, killing two Afghan men and wounding a young girl.
Police investigator Abdul Haq Chopan says the explosion occurred this afternoon in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province.

Commandant cuts Marine Corps birthday cake

Commandant cuts Marine Corps birthday cake

WASHINGTON — Before the United States was born, there was a Marine Corps. For the last 236 years Marines have fought tirelessly to preserve the freedom of the United States and the traditions of the Corps.
This year, the Marine Corps commemorates 236 years of service as well as the sacrifice and dedication of countless Marines that those years represent.
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cut the Marine Corps birthday cake in a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington Nov. 8.
The cutting of the Marine Corps birthday cake is a long-standing tradition in the Corps and celebrates the spirit of the Corps that has been at the foundation since its inception.
“It’s this spirit that resides in us that has been with Marines for 236 years and it has resided in young men and women throughout the years all the way from the many wars that we have fought side by side with one another, to today in Afghanistan,” Amos said.
Amos gave the first piece of cake to Secretary of the Navy Ray E. Mabus, the guest of honor. The second piece of cake was given to retired Lt. Gen. Stephen Olmstead, the oldest Marine present, who passed it on to the youngest Marine present, Lance Cpl. Luke T. Anderson, Headquarters Battalion distribution management specialist.
“The significance of the oldest Marine handing the youngest marine a piece of cake symbolizes the trust and confidence and the experience being handed down to the youthful Marine, who is going to carry forward in our future battles,” said Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett.
Ceremonies like these remind young Marines of the sacrifices of past Marines and urge them to proudly carry on the legacy of the Corps.

WASHINGTON-Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cuts the Marine Corps birthday cake during the cake cutting ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington Nov. 8. A sword is used to cut the cake to remind Marines that they are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword so that the nation may live in peace.  <br> , <b>Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers, 11/8/2011 6:27 AM</b>
WASHINGTON-Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cuts the Marine Corps birthday cake during the cake cutting ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington Nov. 8. A sword is used to cut the cake to remind Marines that they are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword so that the nation may live in peace.
, Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers, 11/8/2011 6:27 AM

11/11/11 11:11

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