Stethem Sailors Honor Tradition, Celebrate Navy’s 239th Birthday
SUBIC BAY, Philippines – The Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem celebrated the Navy’s 239th birthday while in port Subic Bay, Oct. 13.

Stethem’s First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) hosted a celebration on the mess decks to celebrate the Navy’s Birthday. 

During the ceremony they presented information regarding the history of the beginning of the Navy and read a birthday message from Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations. 

In his message, Greenert talked about the importance of legacy and remembering who we are, saying “this year’s theme is about remembering and thanking those that support us.” 

Stethem’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. John F. Bradford, followed the FCPOA presentation with a simple remark to echo Greenert’s message, “Thank you and happy birthday steelworkers.” 

The mess decks were decorated with blue and gold table cloths, balloons, and birthday banners and the culinary specialists prepared a steak and crab leg meal for the crew, complete with a large birthday cake for dessert. 

“I love being able to provide the crew with a meal they truly look forward to,” said Lt. Doug Bishop, Stethem’s supply officer. “It also gives the culinary specialists a chance to showcase their cooking and baking skills which they always enjoy.” 

The ceremony concluded with a cake cutting ceremony. As tradition mandates, the cake was cut by the oldest and youngest Sailors on board. The first slice was offered to Bradford and the second was passed from the oldest Sailor to the youngest to symbolize the passing of knowledge. 

“It is important that we take time to remember who we are and where we started,” Greenert said in his birthday message. 

“When I look at younger Sailors I can always see some of myself in them; a little bit of who I was when I started my career,” said Stethem’s oldest Sailor, Chief Logistics Specialist Jesus Castaneda. 

Stethem, operating from Yokosuka, Japan, is currently conducting operations with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group in the 7th Fleet area of operation supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. 

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