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24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

II Marine Expeditionary Force

Camp Lejeune, NC
24th MEU celebrates 237th birthday while sailing home

By Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher | 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit | November 14, 2012

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Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group bow their heads during the opening prayer of the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael Petersheim/Released)

Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group bow their heads during the opening prayer of the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael Petersheim/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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Lt. Col. David B. Sosa, commander of troops aboard the USS New York and commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, talks to the Marines and Sailors during a cake-cutting ceremony on the ship’s flight deck to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Lt. Col. David B. Sosa, commander of troops aboard the USS New York and commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, talks to the Marines and Sailors during a cake-cutting ceremony on the ship’s flight deck to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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Lt. Col. David B. Sosa, commander of troops aboard the USS New York and commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, talks to the Marines and Sailors during a cake-cutting ceremony on the ship’s flight deck to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Lt. Col. David B. Sosa, commander of troops aboard the USS New York and commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, talks to the Marines and Sailors during a cake-cutting ceremony on the ship’s flight deck to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Larson)


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Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit case the Marine Corps colors after a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit case the Marine Corps colors after a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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A Marine Corps birthday cake is proudly displayed on the flight deck of the USS New York during a ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

A Marine Corps birthday cake is proudly displayed on the flight deck of the USS New York during a ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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Senior officer and enlisted leadership with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group gather around the birthday cake after a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Senior officer and enlisted leadership with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group gather around the birthday cake after a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit take part in a cake-cutting ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps’ 237t birthday aboard the USS New York,, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit take part in a cake-cutting ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps’ 237t birthday aboard the USS New York,, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Larson)


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A Marine Corps birthday cake is proudly displayed on the flight deck of the USS New York during a ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday,, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

A Marine Corps birthday cake is proudly displayed on the flight deck of the USS New York during a ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday,, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit case the Marine Corps colors after a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit case the Marine Corps colors after a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Larson)


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A Marine Corps color guard with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit lowers the Marine Corps flag for the National Anthem on the flight deck of the USS New York during a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

A Marine Corps color guard with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit lowers the Marine Corps flag for the National Anthem on the flight deck of the USS New York during a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher)


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Captains Jon C. Krietz, right, and Christopher Brunett, USS New York commanding officer and executive officer respectively, bow their heads alongside Master Chief Petty Officer Ralph Perez, left, USS New York command master chief, during the opening prayer of the 237th Marine Corps’ 237th birthday Ceremony held on the flight deck of the USS New York, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Captains Jon C. Krietz, right, and Christopher Brunett, USS New York commanding officer and executive officer respectively, bow their heads alongside Master Chief Petty Officer Ralph Perez, left, USS New York command master chief, during the opening prayer of the 237th Marine Corps’ 237th birthday Ceremony held on the flight deck of the USS New York, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Larson)


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Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Woodard, a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, reads the birthday message on the flight deck of the USS New York during a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Woodard, a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, reads the birthday message on the flight deck of the USS New York during a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Larson)


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Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit salute the American flag during the National Anthem as part of a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released)

Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit salute the American flag during the National Anthem as part of a cake-cutting ceremony on the flight deck of the USS New York to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday, Nov. 10, 2012. This was the first of perhaps many more Marine Corps birthday celebrations aboard the New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, as she sails on her maiden deployment. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Fisher III/Released) (Photo by 2nd Lt. Joshua Larson)


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USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, passes the traditional birthday cake to Lt. Col. Ronald Perry, the oldest Marine present, during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012.  The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released)

USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, passes the traditional birthday cake to Lt. Col. Ronald Perry, the oldest Marine present, during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl)


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USS IWO JIMA,NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Lt. Col. Ronald Perry, the oldest Marine present during the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's birthday ceremony celebrating the Marine Corps' 237th birthday, passes the traditional birthday cake to the youngest Marine present, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Tobash, aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012.  The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released)

USS IWO JIMA,NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Lt. Col. Ronald Perry, the oldest Marine present during the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's birthday ceremony celebrating the Marine Corps' 237th birthday, passes the traditional birthday cake to the youngest Marine present, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Tobash, aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl)


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USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Sgt. Maj. of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Octaviano Gallegos , (left), and Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, salute the colors during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012.  The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released)

USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Sgt. Maj. of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Octaviano Gallegos , (left), and Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, salute the colors during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl)


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USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit salute the colors during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012.  The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released)

USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit salute the colors during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl)


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USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit stand in formation during the commencement of the 237th Marine Corps  birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012.  The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released)

USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit stand in formation during the commencement of the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl)


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USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, cuts the traditional birthday cake to be presented to the oldest and youngest Marines during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012.  The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released)

USS IWO JIMA, NAVAL STATION ROTA (Nov. 11, 2012) - Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, cuts the traditional birthday cake to be presented to the oldest and youngest Marines during the 237th Marine Corps birthday ceremony aboard USS Iwo Jima Nov. 11, 2012. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. Since deploying in March, they have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa. The 24th MEU is scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl)


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U.S. NAVY 6TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY -- Marines and Sailors with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group celebrated 237 years of Marine Corps history with a cake-cutting ceremony aboard the ships of the Iwo Jima ARG in honor of the Marine Corps birthday, Nov. 10-11, 2012.

The USS Iwo Jima, New York and Gunston Hall hosted respective ceremonies, their Marines and Sailors enjoying a special meal and birthday cake as the ships sailed through the Mediterranean Sea toward the Strait of Gibraltar.

The birthday was even more special for the Marines and Sailors of the New York as it was the first Marine Corps birthday celebration aboard her decks. The New York, built with seven-and-a-half tons of steel from the World Trade Center, is wrapping up her maiden deployment, carrying over 600 Marines of the 24th MEU.

The ceremony allowed the Marines and Sailors aboard all three ships an opportunity to build camaraderie and esprit de corps among their Navy counterparts, who they have been deployed with since March.

“Celebrating our birthday while deployed is always special. You always remember the birthdays you celebrate while out forward,” said Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th MEU, while addressing the Marines during the ceremony. “This birthday was particularly special because we were able to celebrate with our brothers and sisters in the Navy while aboard ship.”

Although the ceremonies didn’t take place in luxurious hotels and were without Dress Blue uniforms and celebratory drinks, the strongest traditions at the heart of the Corps’ birthday were ever present—the Marines themselves.

“On days like today, we don’t honor just the birthday. We honor those who are here today. We honor the memory of those who came before you,” said Lt. Col. David B. Sosa, the commander of troops and commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, as he addressed the crew of the New York. “I’m a better man because I joined the Corps, but more importantly, I’m a better man for having served alongside men and women like you. Happy birthday, Marines,” he said.

The 24th MEU, alongside the Iwo Jima ARG, is currently deployed in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility as a disaster relief and crisis response force. They have supported a variety of missions in the U.S. Central and European Commands, assisted the Navy in safeguarding sea lanes, and conducted various bilateral and unilateral training events in several countries in the Middle East and Africa.

They are scheduled to return to their home bases in North Carolina later this year.


1 Comments


  • Lynn Barfield 1 years 158 days ago
    Marines rock...as always! Waiting for my son to come home!...Love you Patrick Stophel...

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