TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -

Each year the U.S. Marine Corps pays tribute to its past with special birthday celebrations held at bases around the world.

"Marines are very proud, we feel accomplished with what we've done.  We respect our traditions and hold them close to our heart," said Cpl. John Dolezal. 

At the base in Twentynine Palms, Marines donned regalia from pivotal eras of combat, including World War I and II, Korea and Vietnam.

"It allows us to review the history of how we got to where we are today by viewing the uniforms of prior Marines," said 1st Sgt. Adam Gharati, the Master of Ceremonies for the celebration.

The uniform designs date back from 1775 all the way to today's iconic "Dress Blues," worn on very formal occasions. 

"We needed to show off, this would be the uniform to do it in," Dolezal said.

No matter where these birthday ceremonies are held, there's always a cake and per tradition, the first pieces go to the oldest and youngest marines in attendance.

Today they were 96 and 17. 

"It's an honor to get a piece of cake from a retired Sergeant Major, someone that's been in it for so long," said 17-year-old Pvt. Zachary Pierce. 

Somewhat of a celebrity at the marine base, Sgt. Maj. Ray Wilburn is part of the "Forgotten Battalion," a group of Marines sent overseas during World War II and left there for 34 continuous months.

He felt honored to share the cake with his younger counterpart. 

"I can look at them and see what a great future they have if they choose to stay in the Marine Corps," Wilburn said. 

And he shared with us an old Marine saying.

"The uniform may change but the Marine never changes," Wilburn said.