Cake, with a side of football, at the Navy's birthday party
Published: October 9, 2012
The Navy kicked off its birthday week Tuesday morning, not with a buttercream-frosted submarine to rival the Army’s cupcake-covered tank, but with a celebration of the Naval Academy football team’s overtime win Saturday over Air Force.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert also reassured the sailors gathered in the Pentagon’s auditorium that it is “perfectly acceptable” shout “Beat Army,” even in a formal setting.
The ceremony was moved from the Pentagon courtyard to the auditorium because of dreary weather. The official script, which will be used in cake-cutting ceremonies across the Navy in honor of the service's Saturday birthday, stressed the Navy’s historic role in the War of 1812, World War I and World War II, and the blockade of Cuba in October 1962, ending with a ceremonial bell ringing.
Greenert, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter all stressed the Navy’s importance in the past, but also turned an eye to the future. Mabus called the Navy “America’s away team” and said it is ready to do whatever the country needs.
“Much has been asked of our Navy,” he said. “Much more will be asked.
Carter also praised the Navy’s historic victories, but said now is the time to “look up, look around and look forward.” In this time of strategic transition, he told the sailors, the most important thing is “not strategy, it’s not ships or planes. It’s you.”