GSU celebrates Marine Corps birthday

Grace Huseth

The Georgia Southern University Military Resource Center helped celebrate the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps by hosting a cake-cutting ceremony this past Friday.

The birthday celebration honors the history of the Marine Corps but also serves as a reminder for the Marine Corps to be a unified team.  On this day all Marines celebrate their service, regardless of rank, time served and where they are in the world, embodying the Marine quote, “once a Marine, always a Marine.”

In a traditional Marine Corps ceremony, a birthday cake is cut by a sword with the first slice of cake given to the oldest Marine present, who then gives the slice to the youngest Marine present.  This symbolizes the passing on of tradition and knowledge.  The Marine Corps Order 47 is read as well as the birthday message from the current Commandant of the Marine Corps.

At GSU’s ceremony the youngest Marine in attendance was Statesboro Marine Corps recruiter Sergeant Michael Roennebeck and the oldest Marine was Terry Bartels, the husband of Dr. Jean Bartels, GSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

GSU ROTC cadets were encouraged by this local ceremony that honored the service of the other branches of the armed forces. While these cadets are not part of the Marine Corps, they understand the importance of celebrating those who have a common mission to serve America.

Michael Sangiorge, cadet second lieutenant Army ROTC and senior chemistry major, said he values the dedication of all those enlisted to serve, saying, “same team, same fight.”

“I respect the Marine Corps; they are my brothers,” Bradley Holmes, ROTC Cadet Corporal and sophomore criminal justice major, said.

Colonel George L. Fredrick, battalion commander for GSU ROTC, said that the Military Resource Center wishes to hold a celebration of some kind for every branch of the military, even though those armed forces may not be included in GSU’s ROTC program.