Service members flooded the aft mess decks. Their smiles just as festive and cheerful as the decorations scattered about the tables and bulkheads. Balloons and paper palm trees filled the space in abundance while laughter spilled into the air. Officers and first class petty officers donned paper food service attendant hats and set tables adorned with colorful tablecloths. Music and laughter filled the air as Theodore Roosevelt wished a happy birthday to its Sailors and Marines with a special birthday dinner.
More than 100 Sailors attended the meal in the aft mess decks, April 26. The crew celebrated USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) service members’ birthdays occurring within the month of April.
TR’s First Class Petty Officer Association and the Mustang Association organized the first birthday celebration of its kind to give crewmembers a chance to enjoy their birthday with a pleasant dinner.
This month’s birthday meal included steak, chicken and lobster tails prepared by the ship’s culinary specialists while Morale, Welfare, and Recreation prepared the decorations.
“Everyone did an amazing job putting all of this together,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Robert Mayfield, who attended the event to celebrate his April birthday. “Celebrating a birthday at sea couldn’t get any better.”
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Anthony Scott took the lead coordinating the event.
“This was an opportunity for our different leadership associations to show support for our Sailors,” said Scott. “We want to give each Sailor the chance to celebrate their birthday, and there’s no better time than now while we’re out to sea.”
The Mustang Association seated Sailors at their tables and served each person their meal. Chief Warrant Officer Benny Brockington, TR’s Food Service Officer, helped set the tables and prepared desserts.
“Birthday dinners are always a big morale booster,” said Brockington. “We realize how important birthdays are, and we want to make each of our Sailors feel special.”
The meal kicked off with Lt. John Gibson, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 chaplain, saying a prayer to bless the food before everyone dug in.
“The First Class Petty Officer Association does some amazing things for the Sailors here,” said Air Traffic Controlman 2nd Class Jennifer Dove. “I really appreciate what they did to celebrate all of our birthdays, and it shows how much they care about their people.”
In the end, the effort to show appreciation paid off. TR will host a birthday dinner every month, so if your birthday is coming up be on the lookout for your special meal.
Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor L. Jackson, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
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