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Lt. Col. Damien Marsh, the commanding officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, salutes the colors during a birthday ceremony celebrating the Marine Corps 236th year. The 31st MEU is the nation’s only continually forward deployed MEU, and remains the United States' force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Photo by Cpl. Garry J. Welch

Marines celebrate Marine Corps birthday deployed at sea

10 Nov 2011 | Cpl. Garry J. Welch

The Marine Corps’ heritage can be traced back to November 10, 1775, as a force primarily used for ship to ship fighting. Since its establishment, the Marine Corps has gone on to fight in almost every conflict in the United States’ history, while maintaining its naval heritage.

Adapting to meet America’s demands, the Marine Corps has evolved into the fighting force it is today, while maintaining its time-tested amphibious capabilities.

Whether overseas in Afghanistan, or forward-deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, Marines around the globe all celebrate their history with a traditional birthday ceremony.

Today, Marines and Sailors with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit celebrated the Corps’ 236th birthday aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2), while deployed at sea, continuing the long history of naval tradition.

“It was a good experience,” said Lance Cpl. Adam M. Imbriaco, an administrative specialist with the 31st MEU. “Even though we are forward-deployed on ship, it demonstrates our Espirt-de-Corps by still making time to celebrate.”

Just before the ceremony ended, Lt. Col. Damien Marsh, the commanding officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st MEU, said a few motivational words to the Marines aboard ship.

“It is these birthdays that as forward deployed Marines you will always remember,” said Marsh, speaking on the flight deck of the Essex. “So I ask you to remember all of those brothers and sisters that have gone before you and those that have passed, and I challenge you to remember that you are the vanguard for those that will follow.”

Elements of the 31st MEU are embarked aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2), continuing the theater security mission in the region.

The 31st MEU is the nation’s only continually forward-deployed MEU, and remains the United States’ force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit