Marines Compete for Best Corps Birthday Cake


MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - The 2nd Marine Division G-4 Food Services hosted its first Marine Corps cake competition to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 238th birthday. The food service Marines received classes and began baking Oct. 28 and the cakes were judged Nov. 6, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

Eight Marine food service specialists faced off in heated battle baking, icing and stacking cakes to the most perfect form they can create. 

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the 2nd Marine Division commanding general, Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the 2nd Marine Division sergeant major, and Master Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Butler, the food technician for G-4 Food Services, judged the competition.

The cakes and teams were judged on seven criteria, the Marines’ appearance and attitude, cake appearance, straightness of lines, smoothness of icing, uniformity and levelness of tiers. 

“These are all terrific cakes and you should all be proud of your work,” Lukeman said. “It was so competitive that it came down to a split decision.”

After much deliberation the judges came to a final decision and selected the cake created by Lance Cpl. Travis V. Stark, a food service specialist with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, from Boyne City, Mich., and Lance Cpl. Sydney R. Cayou, a food service specialist with Headquarters Battalion. 

“I am very proud of my cake. Right now I’m feeling a big rush. I just want to go run around and scream ‘I won!’” Stark said. 

For most of the Marines this was their first time baking cakes. So learning and working under the time constraints and pressure of wanting it to be perfect for the Marine Corps’ birthday turned out to be a rewarding experience for them.

“It is a really big honor to be given the opportunity to make a Marine Corps birthday cake,” said Stark. “It was a long journey filled with fun and a lot of frustration.”

After the competitions the cakes were distributed to different mess halls around Camp Lejeune for celebratory birthday meals.

“Baking is an art and we just decided to let our creativity shine,” added Stark.

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