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NEWS | Oct. 25, 2019

City of San Antonio honors Navy's 244th birthday

By Petty Officer 1st Class David Kolmel Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command Public Affairs

Members of Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command, or NMETLC, and Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC, gathered at the San Antonio City Hall during a City Council meeting Oct. 17 to celebrate the Navy’s birthday. 
The celebration honored the Navy’s 244th birthday with a traditional cake cutting, the singing of  “Anchors Aweigh” and recognizing the Navy’s active, Reserve and veterans in attendance.

“Honoring the Navy during a City Hall meeting symbolizes the strong partnership between the city and the military,” said retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, the city’s director of military and veterans affairs. “City Hall is the ‘peoples’ house,’ and council meetings are conducted publicly by representatives elected by the entire city. It is appropriate to honor our Navy at City Hall because it symbolizes the entire community of San Antonio coming together to thank the Navy for their service, and to let the public know that city leadership recognizes the importance of that service.”

Long recognized and referred to as “Military City USA,” the City of San Antonio recently trademarked the name, making it official. The city sponsors and participates in multiple military recognition events throughout the year. This includes birthday cake-cutting ceremonies for each of the five military services.

San Antonio is known for its massive Army and Air Force presence. It is home to four large Army and Air Force installations, several Army and Air Force headquarters commands, and Air Force basic military training and flight training.
What many don’t know is San Antonio is also home to 10 Navy commands, detachments and units, including the “A” and “C” schools for the Navy’s two largest enlisted career fields, Hospital Corpsman and Master-at-Arms. There are more than 10,000 Navy students, active and reserve Sailors, Navy civilian employees, and Navy family members living and working in San Antonio.

Capt. Elizabeth Montcalm-Smith, NMETLC acting deputy commander, spoke on behalf of those 10,000-plus, commending Military City USA residents and elected officials for their support of the Navy and of all military members and their families living and working in the area.

“I believe the men and women of your United States Navy have served and continue to serve, in part, because of the strength they gain from the support they are given by communities across our nation,” Montcalm-Smith said. “I can think of no community that supports and nurtures their men and women in uniform as does this community. The name Military City USA proclaims it, and your actions demonstrate it. On behalf of the men and women of your United States Navy, I thank you.”