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NEWS | Oct. 15, 2020

Naval Medical Forces Support Command celebrates Navy birthday virtually

By Petty Officer 1st Class David Kolmel Naval Medical Forces Support Command Public Affairs

COVID-19 has led to cancellations of many of the time-honored ceremonies that military members enjoy. As a way to commemorate the Navy’s birthday, Naval Medical Forces Support Command, or NMFSC, used virtual means to honor the day.

The Navy command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston hosted a cake-cutting ceremony on Microsoft Teams to celebrate the 245th Navy birthday Oct. 13.

“It’s important to stop and take a minute and honor our tradition and to make sure that we pause, breathe and celebrate our naval service,” said Rear Adm. Cynthia Kuehner, NMFSC commander. “Two hundred forty-five years is a good long while of honor, courage, commitment and dedication to sea service. We have a storied past and I am certain we will continue in that legacy of service and pride in the Navy.”

The ceremony followed COVID-19 restrictions, but with the same traditions, such as a physically distanced cake-cutting ceremony and a limited number of attendees.

“It is important to annually hold a Navy birthday celebration to remember the Navy's heritage, history, and to commemorate what the Navy has accomplished in its 245 years,” said Lt. Kimberly Melin, NMFSC lead for the ceremony. “Not being able to celebrate with a Navy Birthday Ball due to COVID-19, it's especially important this year to still have a cake cutting to uphold traditions as best we can in this unique time.”

Petty Officer 3rd Class Hailey Johnson agrees with the importance of and honor of participating in the ceremony.

“It is a great honor to be in this year’s ceremony, with all that is going on, was a nice chance to celebrate the Navy’s birthday and bring back a little bit of normal to our lives,” Johnson said as the youngest Sailor at NMFSC. “It was also a great chance to see some familiar faces, although in a smaller capacity than normal.”

Along with traditional cake-cutting ceremony, NMFSC also read messages from President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith congratulating the Navy on its 245th birthday.