Story by MCSA Carla Ocampo
Photo by MC3 Dugan Flynn

Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) celebrated the Navy’s 236th birthday Oct. 13 with a dinner and cake cutting ceremony in the ship’s mess decks.

The Navy’s birthday marks the day Continental Congress authorized two armed sailing ships each manned by crews of 80 to be deployed. These ships were tasked with intercepting transports carrying ammunitions and supplies to the British army in America.

In keeping with naval custom the oldest and youngest Sailor cut the birthday cake.

“The Navy birthday serves as time of reflection,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Stephen Boos. “It’s important to look back and celebrate our Navy’s customs and traditions.”

The Navy’s birthday not only serves as a time of reflection but to recognize all Sailors and the hard work they do around the world both past and present.

“I think it’s important that we as Sailors know where we come from, said Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Andrew Goodwin. “Not only us right now, but for 236 years Sailors have made a lot of sacrifices in order to keep our country safe.”

Celebrating the Navy’s birthday also serves as a learning opportunity for junior Sailors.

“Along with celebrating the Navy’s birthday it’s a good time to sit back and talk to junior Sailors about the traditions in the Navy and to help them understand that they are here for something more than just a paycheck,” said Boos.

For 236 years, the Navy has been passing down many traditions, whether it’s the jumper flaps, the boatswain’s mate pipe, or the dixie cup the Navy is an organization rich in history, customs and traditions.