CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The 2d Marine Division celebrated the Marine Corps birthday recently, with a mass re-enlistment ceremony and a division run led by Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler, the commanding general of the "Follow Me Division."
To commemorate the 226th birthday of the Corps, the division's goal was to re-enlist at least 226 Marines prior to Nov. 10.
"Every year, the commanding general sets the goal for re-enlistment within the division at the same number as the Corps' age," said Gunnery Sgt. John S. LaPerriere, the assistant division career planner. "This fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the goal was 226, and as of right now, we've re-enlisted 393 division Marines."
Eighty-four Leathernecks re-enlisted at the ceremony. This number represented the more than 226 Marines who chose to stay Marine during this fiscal year.
"It was pretty motivating for me to re-enlist with all the Marines out there," said Cpl. Stephen Burrell, a radio operator with Headquarters Company, 6th Marine Regiment. "The commanding general gave everyone who re-enlisted coins, and he talked to us individually about our decision to stay Marine."
Burrell, of Trenton, N.J., decided to extend his time in the Marine Corps because it was his family's wish.
"I chose to stay because my wife and kids like me being a Marine and for the benefits my family and I receive," explained Burrell. "The medical benefits are good for my family."
Following the mass re-enlistment, the division ran nearly three miles in boots and camouflage utilities. The run began at the 8th Marine Regiment physical training field.
"The general likes to have these re-enlistment runs because it's like peer pressure," said LaPerriere, of Augusta, Maine. "It shows the Marines who are still considering staying or leaving that there are many others who are choosing to stay."