Servicemembers from all over Iraq gathered in the Al Faw Palace rotunda at Camp Victory, Baghdad, to reenlist and celebrate Independence Day in what is the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military.

Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, 1,215 members of all military branches – representing all 50 states for a combined 5,500 years of additional service – took the oath administered by General David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.

Petraeus presided over the ceremony and led the Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence. At least two husband-and-wife couples were among those signing up for another military stint. After taking their oath and before the immense American flag , the troops saluted Petraeus, then sang “God Bless America.”

“You and your comrades here have been described as America’s new greatest generation, and, in my view, you have more than earned that description,” Petraeus said. “It is the greatest of honors to soldier here with you.”

The Al Faw palace, Camp Victory is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Iraq.

Reenlistment Ceremony in Baghdad Video