MCAS Beaufort -- Marines choose to become part of a family, a culture and a lifestyle; developing a drive and commitment to the Marine Corps. Marines swear an oath, whether of enlistment or of office, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies.
Spouses swear a different kind of oath. They swear to be loyal to their husband or wife, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer - until death.
“Once you marry a Marine, you become a part of the Marine Corps,” said Elizabeth Jennifer Morrow, Family Readiness Officer for Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224, the Bengals. “The traditions, the customs, the different protocol that the Marines go through – the spouses take that journey with our Marine as well.”
With VMFA(AW)-224 deployed, the Bengal’s spouses did not attend a ball. Instead, they planned out a Marine Corps birthday celebration.
“It’s important for [spouses] to learn about those events and get to understand the importance,” said Morrow. “Why the Marine Corps was founded, and why the biggest celebration in the Marine Corps is held each year. Every Marine, no matter where they’re at, whether they’re in garrison or in the battlefield, takes time to honor that important date.”
The celebration took place on Nov. 10, at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s Officer’s Club. Some traditions from the Marine Corps Birthday Ball were upheld in the birthday celebration. Spouses heard birthday messages from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, as well as birthday messages from the VMFA(AW)-224 command. A cake cutting ceremony was held, but adjusted to the spouses with the most and least time with the squadron instead of oldest and youngest Marine.
Morrow said the traditions were modified “simply because we realize that unless you step on those yellow footprints or go through [Officer Candidate School,] the title Marine is for Marines only.”
Marines, spouses and children alike are touched by the illustrious history and rich tradition of our Corps, and it falls on all parts of the Marine Corps family to uphold the traditions.