Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow
YELLOW SEA – Guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) held a celebration to honor the Navy’s 237th Birthday on the mess decks Oct. 12.
During the event, Mustin heard words from their commanding officer, Cmdr. Joseph Ring, followed by birthday messages from senior Navy leadership read by Mustin’s Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Steven Synder.
Mustin then rang a series of ceremonious bells, eight representing the end of the Navy’s current birthday year and the ninth, symbolizing the start of the Navy’s new year.
“Today is a day to be proud and remember all of those who made the necessary sacrifices to put us in the unique position we are in today as the world’s finest Navy, happy birthday Shipmates,” Ring said. “Patriots going to sea on ships, serving their country and Shipmates, this is who we are, this is our heritage and it started when the continental congress established our country’s Navy. Today you all are here ensuring everyone’s right to trade, travel, and do commerce on the open seas.”
In keeping with tradition, the oldest and youngest Sailors in attendance cut the Navy Birthday cake. Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) (SW) Elmer Balino and Information Systems Technician Seaman Ricardo Rodriguez were honored with the duties of cutting the Navy Birthday cake, which was prepared by Mustin’s culinary specialists.
“I was happy to be apart of the ceremony today,” Rodriguez said. “Since joining the Navy I have experienced so much in so little time from recently visiting Malaysia to living and serving forward deployed in Japan. The Navy has a great storied history and I believe for the future, the best is yet to come.”
In his birthday message to the fleet, the Secretary to the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, sent his best wishes to Sailors and spoke about the contributions made by the Navy, past to present.
“This year’s celebration of our 237th Birthday is highlighted by anniversaries that have defined us as the greatest maritime war fighting force in history. Across the country, cities held Navy week celebrations for the bi-centennial of the war of 1812, which guaranteed our independence and ensured our future,” he said. “These events have shown the contrasts of our modest beginnings with the original six frigates at the start of the 19th century to today’s 21st century modern fleet.”
The Navy traces its origins to Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on Oct. 13, 1775, by authorizing procurement, fitting out, manning and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British army in America.
In 1972, then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Elmo Zumwalt authorized recognition of Oct. 13 as the Navy’s birthday. The Navy’s birthday is intended as a commemoration for members of the active forces, reserves, veterans, retirees and family members.
Since that time, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.
Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Joseph Ring, is one of seven guided missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON 15) and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. Mustin is currently on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations.