JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, –
Sailors from several San Antonio-area Navy commands gathered April 27 for the annual Navy Day at the Alamo celebration as part of the Fiesta San Antonio activities across San Antonio.
Navy Day at the Alamo brings together Sailors, family members and the San Antonio civilian community with the goal to raise public awareness of the Navy’s mission in San Antonio and around the world.
“This is our opportunity to share a little bit about ourselves with you,” Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, commander, Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command, or NMETLC, said in ceremony opening remarks.
McCormick-Boyle, who hosted the event as the senior Navy officer in the San Antonio area, also described the Navy’s global mission.
“The Navy protects and defends,” she said. “Among those who protect and defend, there are those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. They protect and defend in the air, on the sea, under the waters and in cyber space. They are around the world taking care of us right here, right now.”
NMETLC was one of 10 area Navy commands represented at the Alamo, where other military leaders from the Army and Air Force, civilian community leaders and the public gathered to learn more about the Navy’s activities in San Antonio.
San Antonio is home to “A” schools for the Navy’s two largest ratings: hospital corpsman and master-at-arms. Outside of training, there is a large and successful Navy recruiting presence since approximately 10 percent of the nation’s Navy recruits are Texans. There is also a large Navy reserve center, and a strong cyber community presence boasting more than 600 Sailors.
“We are a growing community,” said McCormick-Boyle, discussing the expansion of Navy presence in the San Antonio area over recent years. “And I want to say more than anything, as we are growing, you have embraced us. We have learned from you, we learn about you, and you have embraced us. And it’s a wonderful relationship.”
The myriad of Navy career fields represented by San Antonio’s Sailors made for popular demonstrations from the Hospital Corps School instructors and a ceremonial flag folding demonstration from the Navy Operational Support Center – San Antonio, which supports military honors for Navy veteran burials. There was also the annual crowd pleaser, a Military Working Dog demonstration by the Master-At-Arms instructors. The MAs also demonstrated their criminal apprehension training.
Another crowd favorite involved dozens of Texas natives. Two were presented a ceremonial check for their Navy scholarship that will lead to commissioning as Navy officers. And future Sailors were administered the oath of enlistment by Capt. Edgardo Moreno, USS San Antonio (LPD 17) executive officer, with the historic Alamo as a backdrop.
Moreno was one of several Sailors attending from USS San Antonio, which has an ongoing partnership with its namesake city. Moreno was the ceremony special guest speaker, and just prior to the demonstrations and oath of enlistment, he described firsthand how his ship and the Navy keep the nation safe.
“The Navy’s mission is to always be ready to conduct prompt and sustained combat incidents and operations at sea to protect America from attack, and to preserve America’s strategic influence in key regions of the world,” Moreno said. “For 241 years, the Navy has been the cornerstone of American security and prosperity.”
Moreno also discussed the importance of community support in the success of the Navy’s mission, adding, “All of you out in the audience who are civilians who support our military and support our Navy, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support.”
Fiesta San Antonio is an annual two-week long festival event held to celebrate and honor San Antonio history, centering on the sacrifice of those who lost their lives at the Alamo and including all of the military presence that shaped the San Antonio community.
Fiesta began 127 years ago with a march to the Alamo and has grown to third largest celebration of its kind behind Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Rose Festival in Southern California. Fiesta brings in millions of participants annually.