Navy celebrates 232 years of history and tradion

12 Oct 2007 | Cpl. Jenn Eagelman

The 232nd Navy Birthday celebrations began Oct. 12th as Fightertown sailors from past and present, came together to recognize one of the world’s most powerful naval forces.

In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, authorized the official recognition of Oct. 13 as the Navy’s birthday.

Fightertown sailors welcomed the big day by holding a formation at the Air Station’s Headquarters Building as three of their own raised the flag for morning colors.

“It felt great to be a part of the formation and to see sailors raising the flag on such a picture perfect morning,” said Seaman Jason Lail, a religious programs specialist at the Air Station chapel. “This is the first time I had the opportunity to experience that part of the birthday celebration. It was motivating.”

After colors, the sailors filed into the Headquarters Building to watch both Fightertown’s oldest and youngest sailors on station cut the Navy birthday cake in a traditional cake cutting ceremony.

“Tradition has to be kept alive,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Sumanlal Panchal, the leading petty officer for station supply. “People should be proud of their profession or organization. These events should remind everyone of the past history and the present history. It’s tradition. ”

After hearing the Secretary of the Navy’s Birthday Message and the invocation, the cake, provided by Mess Hall 442, was cut by the oldest and youngest sailors on station. The oldest sailor is Lt. Cmdr. Peter Dodson. The Dental Department head at the Air Station’s Branch Health Clinic was born in 1955. The youngest sailor on station is Seaman Leah Clark, an avionics technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, who was born in 1988.

The Navy Ball was held at the Dataw Country Club Saturday and was the culminating event for the Navy Birthday celebration.

From humble beginnings as a part of the Continental Navy, who was authorized 232 years ago to dispatch two ships in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America, to the giant force that is the Navy of today, sailors of the U.S. Navy will continue to protect the world’s oceans whether winds are fair or the seas are rough.