Sailors celebrate Navy birthday
Officers, enlisted Sailors and guests celebrated the U.S. Navy’s 237th birthday at the Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon Oct. 13. The ceremony, themed “Celebrating 237 Years of Naval Tradition,” began with the posting of colors by U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam Sailors, singing of the national anthem and Guam Hymn.
U.S. Naval Base Guam Command Master Chief (SW/AW/SCW) John Lawry, master of ceremonies, then asked attendees to raise their glasses as representatives from the Navy and other military branches offered toasts to their respective senior leadership.
A final toast was made as Sailors from USNH Guam set the prisoner-of-war and missing- in-action table in honor of those who lost their lives or were taken prisoner while serving in the line of duty.
Event guest speaker Rear Adm. Tilghman D. Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, delivered his opening remarks and reflected on the past, present and future operations of the force.
“The Navy has both a rich tradition and a bright future, and we look with pride and confidence in both directions,” he said. “Tonight is a celebration of our Navy culture, our ethos, our character and our values—our honor, courage and commitment as much as it is a celebration of maritime power and victory at sea. This is the real legacy of our service.”
Payne also discussed the importance of change and technology within in the Navy in order to move forward as Sailors who are more technologically advanced enlist to serve their nation with the same pride and resilience of their predecessors.
“The Navy will have to change in order to keep it relevant and capable,” he said. “We have five generations in our workforce today from baby boomers to generation Z. All are patriotic and dedicated but they are different both in motivation and response, Sailors joining the Navy today have always had the internet, digital music, e-mail, texting and mobile phones. Their successors will be even more technologically savvy. Each new generation of leaders must be able to mentor and develop the next generation to lead the Navy into the future.”
After the speech, dinner was served followed by the most experienced Sailor and the youngest Sailor joining the admiral in the traditional cake-cutting.
Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Geoffrey Mellott, of Commander, Submarine Squadron 15, said he was excited to be a part of the event as it was his first time to attend Navy Ball.
“Being here is a unique experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world,” he said. “It’s a real eye-opener to see how different things are, or celebrated, in different places. It’s pretty amazing.”
Constructionman Laura Trommer, of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74, and her sister Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Stephanie Kaiser, of USNH Guam attend their first Navy ball together.
“It’s pretty awesome that would could have been serving anywhere in the world apart from each other,” Kaiser said.
“We could have been anywhere and somehow we’re on this same island to celebrate this occasion like this, it’s just a great feeling.”