SELMA – The Selma High School Marine Corps JROTC Program hosted its 22nd Marine Corps Birthday Ball to commemorate the Marine Corps’ 242nd birthday. The Marine Corps dates back to Nov. 10, 1775. The ball took place at the Monsignor Daniel M. Lopez Hall at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Selma High’s MCJROTC Program follows the Marine Corps’ drill and ceremony manual to properly conduct the ceremony, just like Marines around the globe. The ceremony was established in 1925 and includes the tradition of gathering troops and cadets to read Gen. John A. Lejeune’s birthday message.

Gen. Lejeune was the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps who published a document in 1921 as a reminder that Marines, regardless of their location, will take a moment to celebrate the existence of the Corps.

In addition, a cake-cutting ceremony takes place where a guest of honor is recognized. The oldest Marine or cadet also passes a piece of cake to the youngest Marine or cadet as a symbol of passing down experience and knowledge to the future of the Corps. The ceremony also emphasizes the idea of taking care of the young before looking out for their own welfare.

This year’s guest of honor was Eliseo Zuniga, a former Marine corporal who served in Twenty-nine Palms, Okinawa, Japan, and in the Philippines. The oldest cadet in the program is Cadet Lance Cpl. Angel Fuentes born on August 12, 1999, and the youngest cadet is Cadet Pvt. Alejandro Trevino, born on March 10, 2004.

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