By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelby Sanders
YOKOSUKA, Japan – U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) celebrated the Navy’s 239th birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony on the ship’s mess decks Oct. 14.
Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. Richard McCormack addressed the crew by sharing the Navy’s rich history.
“Our Navy has played a huge role in our country’s history,” said McCormack. “We enthusiastically celebrate and honor the service and the sacrifices made by the Sailors who came before us.”
After USS Constitution, Blue Ridge holds the honor of being the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy’s active duty fleet and continues to uphold many of the Navy’s timeless traditions.
“It’s impressive to learn how the Navy still practices many of it’s traditions from a time when today’s technology didn’t exist,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Shane McKnight.
Blue Ridge is currently undergoing a Selective Restricted Availability (SRA) and is putting in extensive man hours to prepare the ship for future patrols.
“Taking a break from the daily grind to celebrate our Navy and hear what our commanding officer wants to share with us is a welcome break,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Samuel Welch. “It gives us an opportunity to come together and remember what we are here for.”
The Department of the Navy was established by the Continental Congress Oct. 13, 1775 after votes were made to equip two sailing vessels for the purpose of intercepting British supply ships.