US Navy Celebrates 237th Birthday With Worship Service

US Navy Celebrates 237th Birthday With Worship Service

An inaugural worship service to celebrate the 237th birthday of the U.S. Navy was held Oct. 10, in conjunction with the birthday festivities at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, delivered the greeting to Navy leadership, Midshipmen, state and local government officials in attendance, including Annapolis Mayor, Joshua J. Cohen, and community supporters.

In his message, Greenert spoke of the rich legacy of the Navy and the warfighting spirit of “those in peril on the sea,” reflected in the hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save, which is also inscribed over the altar of the Naval Academy chapel.

He spoke of the need to “take time to memorialize those who’ve gone before us and continue to remember those in peril on the sea.” He went on to describe how “Sailors willingly accept the danger of the seas, critical to the mission of the Navy, that enable us to do what we do.”

Chief of Chaplains, Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, delivered the sermon on “those who have heard the call of the sea and answered the call to serve, a call that demands all we have to give and requires great courage from our Sailors and families.”

He remarked that the service provided a “time for us to recall with deep gratitude those who, in President Lincoln’s matchless phrase, ‘have given that last full measure of devotion’ in service to their Nation and their comrades-those who have laid down their lives for sake of others and are now ‘on eternal patrol.’ “

The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters and Brass Quintet, under the direction of Captain Brian O. Walden, performed several selections to enrich the service, including the National Anthem, The Navy Hymn, and Grace, an arrangement by Mark Hayes.

The USS Constitution Color Guard was present to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812, the first true test of Naval strength for the United States.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kawika Segundo participated in the scripture readings. When asked about being selected to participate in the service, Segundo remarked, “It is a great honor to be invited here to represent the Corpsmen who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice. I am truly elated and humbled to be here.”

Segundo, a multi-tour combat veteran, is currently assigned as the Directorate leading petty officer, Brigade Medical Unit, Naval Health Clinic Annapolis. He aspires to become a Medical Service Corps officer to help shape the military medical landscape by providing his professional and personal experiences to combat the stigma of mental health.

In 2004, he was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade blast during a night ambush, while deployed as the senior corpsman attached to Weapons Company, based in Camp Fallujah and Mahmoudiyah, Iraq.

A designated offering was collected during the service to benefit the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, which supports non-medical care for seriously wounded, ill, and injured Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and their families.

The service closed with the playing of Taps in remembrance of all those Sailors and Marines who have perished over the past 237 years in service to their nation.

Naval Today Staff,October 17, 2012; Image: US Navy