CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – Wednesday was the Marine Corps’ 246th  birthday! Camp Lejeune held a special ceremony on the base to celebrate the legacy of the Marine Corps. 

“I think a birthday at the Marine Corps conjures up a lot of emotions, both through our veterans that are out there for our community who we celebrate with. And of course, for the youngest and oldest, as you saw today, the passing on of tradition becomes part of our identity,” said the Commanding General of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Andrew Niebel. 

There was a cake cutting ceremony where the oldest marine present passed along a slice to the youngest to symbolize the passing of knowledge and wisdom. The oldest marine there was born in 1925 and enlisted in 1943. He passed this slice of cake to the youngest Marine, who was born in 2001 and enlisted in 2018. 

Along with that, there were several marines dressed in uniforms representing different periods of Marine Corps history, from the Revolutionary War all the way to the present day. 

“When you stop and pause on the Marine Corps birthday, you reflect back for all those who have gone before us. And by doing so you get an intrinsic feeling and internal understanding of what it means to be a Marine,” said Niebel. 

The birthday was originally celebrated on July 11th until the year 1921, when the date changed to November 10th to commemorate the establishment of the Corps’ aid in the Revolutionary War. 

“We celebrate the Marine Corps birthday, more so than we celebrate our own birthday in the Marine Corps, it’s a special time Marine Corps looks back to define its future, we look forward also to shape where we’re headed,” said Niebel. 

There were several special guests in attendance celebrating this event, including officials from Onslow County and the City of Jacksonville. 

“I think that’s really important, especially to a lot of your veteran population that we show, continue to show support. And remember, you know, remember their service also,” said Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips.