MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Members of Marine Air Support Squadron 1 celebrated the unit’s 71st birthday at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., July 1, 2014.
MASS-1 activated July 1, 1943 as Headquarters and Service Squadron, 1st Marine Air Warning Group, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point, and since has been re-designated numerous times.
“We have changed our name quite a bit and have even changed who we fall under quite a bit,” said Sgt. Maj. Monroe C. Boykin, the squadron’s sergeant major. “One thing remains the same though, we continue to provide air support and we’ve done that and have been combat proven throughout the years. What that says is that what the Marines are doing is extremely important and that we should continue what we have done.”
The squadron of more than 300 Marines has a history of deployments and relief efforts and received the Presidential Unit Citation for its contributions to Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to Lt. Col. AnDroy D. Senegar, the squadron’s commanding officer.
“It is days like this that should affirm your pride and your joy of being a United States Marine and your pride of being a MASS-1 Chieftain,” Senegar told the Marines of the squadron. “We observe our birthday so that we can ensure that those who have come before us, and our proud heritage we have in this unit, are observed and we know that if we take care of things on our side, then we can carry that tradition on.”
During the ceremony, the squadron formed to re-affix its battle streamers on the unit’s colors, signifying the awards and citations earned by previous members of the squadron.
“The importance of re-affixing the streamers is to reaffirm what we have done and the blood that was shed for our great institution,” said Senegar. “It is also to remind the Marines that any time or any place across the world, Marines of MASS-1 have been there doing our job to support the Marine Corps.”