The staff of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet held a bell ringing ceremony at their headquarters building in Coronado, Calif.,to recognize and celebrate the 238th birthday of the United States Navy, Oct. 11.
“Since 1775, the surface Navy has been around, operating on the high seas and around the borders of our country. From the Battle of Coral Sea to the Battle of Lake Erie, it is our Sailor that have preserved with heart and soul,” said Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman. “We strive to have the best hardware but it is the Sailors that operate the equipment that makes a difference each and every day.”
At 9:00 a.m., Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) David Sotelo rang the ceremonial eight bells to signify the end of the current birthday year, followed by a ceremonial strike of one bell to signify the start of the new birthday year.
Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SW) Lilian Armenta read the historical message for this year’s celebration.
“As we celebrate our Navy’s 238th birthday, our history and heritage forms our identity, telling us who we are and what we stand for,” said Armenta. “Our core values of honor, courage, and commitment have been passed down from our founders, who charged the Navy with the solemn duty to serve as the ‘shield’ of our republic.”
Following tradition, the most senior officer, Copeman, and the youngest enlisted Sailor, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ivan Franco, cut the Navy’s birthday cake.
The Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established Oct. 13, 1775. In 1972, then Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt authorized recognition of Oct. 13 as the official Navy’s birthday. This year, Sailors celebrate the theme, “Defending America with Pride Since 1775.”
Press Release, October 14, 2013; Image: US Navy