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Wilmer Difo of the Washington Nationals twists himself to the ground on a swing against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Wilmer Difo of the Washington Nationals twists himself to the ground on a swing against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Wilmer Difo of the Washington Nationals twists himself to the ground on a swing against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
Wilmer Difo of the Washington Nationals twists himself to the ground on a swing against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. St. Louis won, 5-1, leaving Scherzer with a 1-4 record for the season.
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. St. Louis won, 5-1, leaving Scherzer with a 1-4 record for the season. ()
Yeoman 1st Class Whitney Sisson stands with hte umpires as she prepares to present the game ball to Washington Nationals catcher Yan Gomez during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Yeoman 1st Class Whitney Sisson stands with hte umpires as she prepares to present the game ball to Washington Nationals catcher Yan Gomez during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Sailors salute as the national anthem is played during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Sailors salute as the national anthem is played during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt (8) and his coaches stand for the national anthem during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt (8) and his coaches stand for the national anthem during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez, a member of the U.S. Navy Band, sings the national anthemduring Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Musician 1st Class Maia Rodriguez, a member of the U.S. Navy Band, sings the national anthemduring Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez and his coaches and players stand for the national anthem during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez and his coaches and players stand for the national anthem during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith throws out the ceremonial first pitch during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith throws out the ceremonial first pitch during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard arrives on the field during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
The U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard arrives on the field during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly leads 45 new U.S. Navy sailors through an enlistment ceremony during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly leads 45 new U.S. Navy sailors through an enlistment ceremony during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly leads 45 new U.S. Navy sailors through an enlistment ceremony during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly leads 45 new U.S. Navy sailors through an enlistment ceremony during Navy Night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
An enlistment ceremony spotlighted 45 new U.S. Navy sailors during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
An enlistment ceremony spotlighted 45 new U.S. Navy sailors during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
The U.S. Navy Drill Team performs in the outfield during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
The U.S. Navy Drill Team performs in the outfield during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
The U.S. Navy Drill Team performs in the outfield during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
The U.S. Navy Drill Team performs in the outfield during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Sailors salute as the national anthem is played during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.
Sailors salute as the national anthem is played during Navy Night ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It was a milestone night for 45 young men and women Wednesday at Nationals Park, as they took part in a Navy enlistment ceremony before a game between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.

"I think they're joining the greatest navy in the world, and everything that we're trying to do is to keep it that way," said Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly, who administered the oath. "So it's a very exciting time to be joining the Navy. We're going to be much more technologically advanced, and it's a great place for them to start their careers, no matter what they want to do over the long run."

Navy Night was the first of five service branch events scheduled by the Nats this season. Other highlights included a demonstration by the U.S. Navy Drill Team and the throwing out of the ceremonial first pitch by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith.

"It's going to be a fast ball," Smith said before he took the mound, "... which, to (the Nationals players), is a changeup."

Other 2019 branch events at Nationals Park include:

June 18 (vs. Philadelphia), ArmyJuly 30 (vs. Atlanta), Marine CorpsAugust 12 (vs. Cincinnati, Coast GuardSeptember 24 (vs. Philadelphia), Air ForceOn these days, "military families and their supporters can purchase special tickets that include a Nationals giveaway item and a donation to their respective relief society." according to the team's' website.

gromelski.joe@stripes.com

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