MLA 2022 Cake Cutting Ceremony


Ariana Serrano

Cake Cutting ceremony celebration at Marine Leadership academy

It was a warm Thursday afternoon on November 10th, 2022. All six companies formed up, COs and First Sergeants looking sharp in dress blue uniforms, swords at their sides. All Company Commanders practiced their sword manual weeks in advance to prepare for the event. Cake escorts practiced getting the cake across the field.

Everyone anxiously waited for the festivities to begin. To many others, this day was like any other typical day, just your regular Thursday. However, here at Marine Leadership Academy, this day marked a special occasion, the Marine Corp birthday. The day the Marine Corps was created to continue to fight for our country. 

The Marine Corps Birthday is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the Marines by the second congressional congress which occurred on November 10th, 1775. While we currently celebrate the Marine Corp birthday in November, it wasn’t always like this. Originally, this was celebrated on July 11th, from 1799 up until 1921. This was changed when Major General Lejeune ordered a formalization of this tradition and officially established to change the date. 

Due to Marine Leadership Academy’s affiliation with the United States Marine Corps, the Marine Corp Birthday is a huge event and is celebrated every year. Traditionally, there is also an oldest and youngest Marine present, as well as a guest of honor who also participates in the ceremony, with this year’s guest of honor being former Marine Raul Basuto who survived a near-fatal car crash in July thanks to his marine training and instinct applying emergency care to his severely injured leg. Master Gunnery Sergeant Castaneda stated that he wanted the ceremony attendees  “To celebrate something bigger than one’s self.” After hearing from the ceremony’s guest of honor  he hoped students would realize, “We are all susceptible to something that can change our lives at any given moment.”

To celebrate something bigger than one’s self.

— Master Gunnery Sergeant Castaneda

Along with the cake-cutting ceremony, Marine Leadership Academy also takes the time to celebrate our veterans considering veterans day also comes close behind the Marine Corps Birthday. Below are all the names listed of veterans who attended the cake-cutting ceremony:

Names of veterans in attendance

Marine Leadership Academy’s Battalion Commander, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Shadaly Naranjo emphasizes how much work was put in to make this event possible. She notes, “I hope everyone enjoys this ceremony. We took a lot of time and effort to plan this out to make it as special and memorable as it could be”. She continues by asking those attending to please be kind, and respectful, and honor those who will be celebrating as she states, “I please ask that everyone be respectful and make sure to wish all the military instructors a happy birthday”.

…make sure to wish all the military instructors a happy birthday!

— Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Shadaly Naranjo

The Marine Corps Birthday is something extremely meaningful to Marines and something we do here at school to continue the traditions they have on actual military bases.  As Master Sergeant Griffin notes, “It’s one of those things that bring us together as a family of Marines, so I greatly appreciate the cadets participating, it keeps me connected like if I were on active duty, and puts a smile on the heart to see them doing this.” 

After only eleven days of planning, the Marine Corps Birthday finally arrived and so did the Cake Cutting ceremony. Marine Leadership academy was finally able to see all the hard work pay off to give all the Marines in attendance a great birthday celebration.  

The Cake Cutting ceremony turned out to be a success and it could not have been done without all the hard work those involved put in.