Cal State San Bernardino’s veterans’ center celebrates U.S. Navy 238th birthday


The Veterans Success Center at Cal State San Bernardino will commemorate the United States Navy’s 238th birthday celebration on Monday, Oct. 14, at 11:30 a.m. on campus.

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The event will be held on the lawn east of the center and is free and open to the public.  Several campus employee and student veterans will participate in the ceremony.

Petty Officer Angel Rayas, U.S. Navy reservist will be the master of ceremonies of the event. The program will begin with the posting of the colors by the U.S. Navy Color Guard from the Navy Operational Support Center at March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley.

The invocation will be led by the Rev. Jason Paul of the Pathway Church in Redlands, and the keynote address will be delivered by Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Willie J. Oliver.

Oliver currently serves as the education service specialist for the U.S. Army Southern California recruiting battalion. He retired from the Navy in 2010 after 22 years of service, including 12 as a combat medic with the Marine Corps ground force at various locations.

U.S. Navy veteran and CSUSB professor of education Joe Scarcella will read the official birthday message from the Chief Naval Officers.

Bryant Taylor, U.S. Navy veteran and a CSUSB student majoring in information management and security, will preside over the official “Ringing of the Bells” ceremony, which is used to signal the end of the watch and represents the end of the current U.S. Navy year.

The designees invited to ring the bells include:

  • Lt. Edward Kenneweg of the U.S. Navy Officer Recruiting Station in Riverside, representing those currently serving in the U.S. Navy;
  • Members of the Color Guard NOSC Moreno Valley at March Air Reserve Base;
  • Angel Rayas, Jasmine Gonzales and Neizer Dizon, representing Navy reservists who are also enrolled students at CSUSB;
  • Eric Cross, Victor Quezada and Ryan Powers, on behalf of all Navy veterans who are students at CSUSB;
  • Retired chief petty officer Oliver on behalf of all U.S. Navy retirees;
  • Phillip Westbrook, chief engineer at CSUSB’s department of heating and air conditioning, representing CSUSB employees who are U.S. Navy veterans;
  • Christine Degano, director of student recruitment from CSUSB’s Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment, representing U.S. Navy dependents; and
  • Darcie Tosetti, representing mothers of Navy sailors.

Kenneweg will preside over the cake cutting ceremony. Navy tradition invites the oldest and the youngest sailor present to slice the first piece of cake. Rodney Snodgrass, 61, U.S. Navy veteran and an employee in CSUSB’s facilities services department, and Jasmine Gonzales, 22, U.S. Navy reservist and CSUSB communications student, will perform the honors.

For more information about the Navy’s birthday celebration at CSUSB, contact the Veterans Success Center at (909) 537-5196.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit