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Semper Fidelis! Happy 235th Birthday Marines

Semper Fidelis! Happy 235th Birthday Marines

ARLINGTON, VA. The U.S. Marine Corp. is celebrating today its 235th birthday and is the oldest of the U.S. military services, established by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775.

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

November 10, 2010

NEW YORK – As we celebrate the 235th birthday of the Marine Corps today, on the eve of Veterans Day, it is fascinating to explore why the smallest branch of the armed forces holds such a big place in American society.

To start, Marines historically have taken disproportionate casualties, a trend that has continued during the global war on terror. The Marine Corps makes up less than 11% of the U.S. military, but more than 23% of the Americans killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan are Marines.

The corps’ history of battlefield success against long odds is also a primary reason why the sight of a Marine in dress blues or a bagpiper belting out the Marine Corps hymn has an immediate, positive impact on a huge chunk of the American population.

Marines protected Washington from three major British assaults during the War of 1812 and stopped the German advance at the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I. Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and Okinawa were bloodbaths, but the Marine Corps accomplished the mission and revolutionized amphibious warfare.

Even in less popular conflicts, the corps added to its reputation. Outnumbered 8 to 1, the Marines broke through Chinese lines and inflicted devastating casualties on the enemy during the bitter cold Chosin Reservoir campaign of the Korean War. Leathernecks also distinguished themselves by fighting house to house in Hue City, Vietnam, and crushing the insurgency in Fallujah, Iraq.

The corps’ commitment to its own glorious history is remarkable, inspiring present and future generations of Marines. No Marine graduates boot camp without knowing about the battle for Tarawa, an island that was so heavily fortified during World War II that the Japanese commander charged with defending it bragged that it would take a million men attacking for 100 years to take it. Marines took Tarawa in less than four days.

Likewise, every Marine puts on the uniform knowing that he or she must live up to the standards set by Marine Corps giants like Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller (five Navy Crosses), Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone (Medal of Honor, Navy Cross) and Sgt. Maj. Dan Daly (two Medals of Honor). This creates an environment where every Marine wants to overachieve, perpetually propelling the corps to new heights.

The Marine Corps’ legacy is even enhanced by its political incorrectness. Marines do what is best for country and corps, and care not what the elites in government, academia or the press think about their old-school ways. For example, the Marine Corps is the only branch that trains men and women separately. Single-gender training is anachronistic to some, but it’s hard to argue with the Marine Corps’ success.

Finally, no organization has more zealous alumni than the Marines. A few good men have established more than 600 national Marine Corps organizations with thousands of local chapters. The largest such group, the Marine Corps League, has more than 900 community-based detachments throughout the U.S.

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Enhancing the impact that Marine Corps alumni have on its storied reputation, many former Marines have made huge impacts on the world. The first American to orbit the Earth and the last ballplayer to bat .400, John Glenn and Ted Williams respectively, were proud Marines who served together. Fredrick Smith, who founded Federal Express, and former Secretary of State and White House chief of staff James Baker also claimed the title Marine. Even radio legend Don Imus speaks proudly of his Marine Corps service.

Because of this rich heritage, the Marine Corps’ entire recruiting philosophy is essentially this: We pay less and take more casualties. Despite the seemingly uninviting pitch, new recruits keep pouring in. Even a few years back, when the other branches struggled mightily to fill their ranks as the Iraq war declined in popularity, the Marine Corps routinely exceeded its goals.

President Ronald Reagan summed up perfectly why America loves the Marine Corps when he said, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.”

Semper fidelis!


+51
  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    over 3 years ago

    1990 Comments

    Happy Birthday and thanks for your service!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    I have a long line of Marines in my family.......very proud to say that!! ooohrah!

  • Me_max50

    Saundre

    over 3 years ago

    18 Comments

    My father was a Marine. He has always made me proud!

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    over 3 years ago

    11344 Comments

    Semper FI...

  • Pictures_of_jonathan_max50

    futuremarine1

    over 3 years ago

    56 Comments

    SEMPER FI Happy birthday Marines. From Poolie recruit Sechrist. Leave for boot camp July 11th And can't wait to be one of the few and the proud. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES

  • 1_max50

    marine10311

    over 3 years ago

    572 Comments

    Happy 235 th to all my brothers and sisters ! Semper FI !!!!!!!!
    CPL Brian Thompson
    3/4 Lima Co. 2 nd Plt

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Hey,Happy Birthday Bros. from an Army vet.--

  • Flags_and_stars_max50

    djs2v

    over 3 years ago

    5628 Comments

    Semper Fi! Happy Birthday Marines!

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    over 3 years ago

    10926 Comments

    Semper Fi and Happy Birthday, U.S.M.C. !!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Happy Brithday to all my Brothers and Sisters of the Corps. Semper FI to all.

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50

    ilegworldchamp

    over 3 years ago

    8966 Comments

    Happy Birthday Marines "Semper-Fi" from "Garry Owen" !

  • Marinesegaiwoblues1024x768_max50

    RescueNanny

    over 3 years ago

    2646 Comments

    Happy Birthday! Semper Fi!

  • Dsc01371_max50

    Gunny50

    over 3 years ago

    440 Comments

    Happy Birthday Marines!! Semper Fi

  • Pic_251_max50

    MeganDeuterman

    over 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    **************************SEMPER FI ********************************

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    If you can read a book thank a teacher. If it's in English thank a Marine......

    (WWW.SEMPERFIFUND.ORG ) an incredible organization that provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families while they recover. BOOYAH!!!!!!!!

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