Story by UTC(SCW) Scott A. Kristek, CSFE DET Sheppard Public Affairs
Students and Staff at the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Detachment at Sheppard Air Force Base (CSFE Det. SAFB) celebrated the 238th birthday of the U.S. Navy on Oct. 12, honoring those who’ve gone before them, and thanking those still serving today.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Joseph Johnson, CSFE Det. SAFB Officer-in-Charge, served as the Master of Ceremonies. The ceremony began with the National Anthem and a benediction by First Class Petty Officer Phillip Brown followed by an opening speech by guest of honor Colonel David Murphy, 782nd Training Group Commander. Col. Murphy expressed his sincere appreciation, both personally and professionally, for the U.S Navy. “I am personally grateful to have the privilege to speak at this ceremony, for the Navy was there for me when I needed them, and I cherish the opportunity to give back to you,” Murphy said, referring to a personal experience earlier in his career with a downed aircraft rescue.
Throughout the ceremony, the great battles, sacrifices, and milestones of Naval History were presented to the “A” school students to provide them with an appreciation of Navy heritage. Tradition was also a focus, with the sounding of the bell to celebrate 238 years of Faithful Service to the Nation, and one extra ring to symbolize the start of another year.
“We wanted to make sure that we gave the students the opportunity to celebrate the Navy’s proud history and heritage, as well as give them a chance to sit and talk to the staff, away from the day to day operations,” said Johnson.
The cutting of the cake closed out the ceremony and brought everyone together for a feast that was provided by the Chief Petty Officer Mess and the Chief Petty Officers’ Association. Staff and spouses filled plates for the students in a show of appreciation for their service. Everyone enjoyed the day with fellowship, sporting events, and even a pie-in-the-face raffle.
“It was really nice that the staff members put all of this together for us. I’m sure they all have things to do on the long weekend, but they came here and put on a ceremony and party for all of us instead. The staff always says that they’re here for us, and this just shows that it’s true, so I wanted to say Thank You” says Constructionman Craig Benner, a student attending Construction Electrician “A” School.