SOUTH CHINA SEA –
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) celebrated the U.S. Navy’s 239th Birthday, Oct. 13.
The all-day celebration began with a bell ringing ceremony over the shipboard loudspeaker system, which included eight bells that signaled the end of the current birthday year.
Lt. j.g. Bryan Lay, Halsey’s assistant operations officer, then spoke about the Navy’s voyage and accomplishments from the War of 1812 to the present.
“For 239 years our Navy has been where it matters, when it mattered,” said Lay. “We are here in the South China Sea ensuring freedom of navigation, free commerce and influencing the stability of the region.”
A ninth bell was rung to signify the beginning of the current year.
Sailors then had the opportunity throughout the day to state why they joined the Navy over the shipboard loudspeaker system.
“I joined the United States Navy to serve and honor the constitution,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Alex White. “My soul purpose was to fight and defend this country’s freedoms so that all of us can have the pursuit of happiness.”
The celebration concluded with a cake cutting ceremony on the mess decks.
“To protect our homeland and the constitutional nation our fathers created is a duty I would gladly do for free. I am willing to give everything that I am,” said Lay.
Halsey is on deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.