The Corps of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines celebrated their 354th birthday aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), October 28.
The Royal Marines are embarked on the Iwo while taking part in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 and had the opportunity to celebrate their birthday with the crew.
“It was definitely something different. We wouldn’t normally get to do this on a ship anywhere else, so it was pretty cool. It was pretty good to celebrate it on an American ship and get the Americans involved in it, as well. That was quite good,” said British Royal Marine Commando Marine Jack Stringer.
Those in attendance included Capt. Joseph R. Obrien, commanding officer of the Iwo Jima, Rear Adm. Brad Skillman, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Neary, Commanding General, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
The celebration started with a cake cutting by Marine William Christie and Lance Cpl. Pieter Janse Van Rensburg.
The celebration continued with Marine Ian Smith reading the Royal Marine’s Convening Order and 1st Lt. David Leach lighting a candle and holding a moment of silence to remember fallen marines.
Additionally, there was a before-dinner grace read by Lance Cpl. Nathan Burton followed by Marine Sam Merritt reading about Victoria Cross recipient Cpl. Thomas Peck Hunter.
After dinner, the Royal Marines made a toast to the Queen of England and Maj. Sam Hughes closed out the celebration with a humorous story about the U.S. Marine Corps and the Royal Marines.
The Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group embarks the 24th MEU and is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), Fleet Surgical Team 6, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, components of Naval Beach Group 2 and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 8.