KINGS POINT, N.Y., November 10, 2016 - Midshipmen at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) took time to honor Marines - past, present and future by sharing a birthday cake, as is tradition.
During a lunchtime ceremony Gunnery Sergeant Tran Phung and several midshipmen who are considering active duty military service as Marines, honored faculty and staff who have served our nation as United States Marines. With the Marine Corps Hymn playing in the background, they cut their birthday cake in front of the entire Academy community. The first piece was given to the oldest Marine in the room, CAPT Reed Bonadonna, who was born in 1955, who then shared it with the youngest marine in the room, Midshipman John Terselic, who was born in 1995.
“It is an honor and pleasure to wish our Marines a very happy 241st birthday. They have faithfully served and sacrificed for our nation since 1775”, said Superintendent, Rear Admiral James A. Helis, PhD.
As part of their service obligation, graduates of USMMA serve as officers in all branches of the military. Most will serve as reserve officers in the United States Navy while sailing as Licensed Merchant Mariners, however each year approximately twenty-five percent accept active duty commissions as officers in the Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and United States Marine Corps.