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Marines and sailor with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group jog past during the 2nd MLG Marine Corps Birthday run aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Nov. 8, 2011. The run was in honor of the Corps’ 236th birthday and was followed by a traditional cake-cutting ceremony at Soifert Field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by. Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Birthday celebration capped off by motto-run

10 Nov 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

As the sun rose Nov. 8 on what Marines have come to know as “PT Road”, there was thousands of Marines running in formation and chanting cadence in the brisk morning air.

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group took to the pavement to celebrate the Marine Corps 236th birthday with a run, which began and ended at Soifert Field aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., while the MLG headquarters building served as a half way point for the run.

Because of numbers, many units the size of the MLG don’t conduct in unit runs for the birthday, but the Marines surely enjoyed the motivation, such as Lance Cpl. Jonathon Rockey, a data systems specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG.

“I really liked running in honor of the birthday,” he said. “I like that they didn’t just make us stand in formation and cut the cake then send us on our way. They brought the whole unit together for [physical training] then cut the cake after. It really helps build camaraderie and motivates Marines.”

After the run, the unit stood in formation as the time-honored tradition commenced. The cake was rolled out to begin the ceremonial cake cutting. The oldest and youngest Marine, Master Gunnery Sgt. John H. Wilbur and Pfc. Emma Marie Wott, then took their traditional pieces of cake.

“I was proud I got the chance to be the youngest Marine,” Wott said. “I was actually surprised I was the youngest. I never really thought about it until the ceremony.”

Wott also spoke about sharing the moment with Wilbur, the oldest Marine present.

“It was great sharing that moment with him because it just made me want to be where he is,” Wott said. “I thought to myself, ‘that could be me one day.’”

One thing is for certain, if Wott does become the oldest Marine at a cake cutting ceremony she will have her second piece of cake. The Corps is full of traditions, and the oldest and youngest Marines will have their cake as long as there is a birthday and a Corps.

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