contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer
During the American Revolution, the need arose for a service branch that served both on land and at sea. In response, the Continental Marines, was born. Today, we say Happy Birthday Marine Corps! 2021 marks their 246th year serving our country.
In addition to wartime duties, Marines today serve on U.S. Navy ships, protect naval bases, guard U.S. embassies, and maintain a quick strike force to protect U.S. interests anywhere in the world. Every Marine serves with the intention to protect our nation and the advancement of our ideals.
In honor of the Marine Corps birthday 2021, here are a few interesting facts about our nation’s 3rd oldest military branch.
Unlike many of our other military branches, there is no debate about when the Marine Corps birthday is. November 10th is the Marine Corps birthday, as this is the date the first two battalions of Marines were formed by captain Samuel Nichols. The Marines was established just one month after the Continental Navy and four months after the Continental Army.
Many are familiar with the Marine Corps Motto – Semper Fidelis, which means always faithful. The motto was created to distinguish the bond shared between Marines, as they are always faithful to the success of their work, to the progress of our nation, and to their fellow Marines.
The combat utility uniform or “Cammie” is donned during garrison, training, and while deployed. Cammies can be green, tan, or grey, depending on the circumstances. These pixilated uniforms are intended to camouflage soldiers in a variety of settings.
Dress blues, by contrast, are worn for events such as ceremonies, visits with civil officials, and formal social functions. Marine Corps Dress Blues are the only uniform of the military designed to include all three colors of our flag – red, white, and blue.
There are several symbols known to represent the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Blood Stripe is added to the dress blue uniform of Marines once they reach the rank of Lance Corporal. It’s intended to symbolize honor as well as gratitude for the sacrifices these service members make for their country.
The eagle, globe, and anchor has been a Marine Corps emblem since 1868. The eagle represents our nation, the globe reminds us of the worldwide presence of our Marines, and the anchor references the Corps naval heritage. Combined, they represent the Marines’ commitment to defend America and its ideals.
Scarlet and Gold. These colors of the Corps were established in 1925 by Marine Corps 4, and were reflected in the Marine Corps flag beginning in 1939.
The Marine Corps flag has been through several iterations since the American Revolution. The version flown today has been around since 1939. It features a scarlet background with the Marine Corps emblem in gold and grey. In the eagle’s mouth is a ribbon which bears the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis. Below the emblem is a white scroll with the words United States Marine Corps in scarlet.
The Marines hold three values near and dear: honor, courage, and commitment. These are believed to be the building blocks that guide decision making in times of both war and peace.
Honor leads Marines to act ethically and morally at all times, and to live by a code of uncompromising integrity. It also reminds Marines to act responsibly and hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions.
Courage is in ingrained in Marines from day one. The word courage reflects the mental, moral, and physical strength required to overcome fear, especially under pressure.
Commitment reflects the dedication and determination required of every Marine. This is what enables the steadfast dedication to our nation which Marines must feel and live every day.
If you watch any military movie featuring Marines, you’ll likely hear an “ooh-rah” from time to time. This is the Marine Corps battle cry, and it can be used as a greeting, to express agreement, or as a means of sharing enthusiasm.
The Marine Corps Memorial is quite famous! It depicts the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima during WWII. The scene was memorialized by a photographer present at the time and has come to represent the Marines who have sacrificed so much, some with their lives, for our nation over the past 246 years.
Happy birthday U.S. Marines! To all who have served, past and present, we salute you. Your sacrifices, hard work, and dedication do not go unnoticed. Thank you for all that you do!
If you’d like to know how to celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday, start by listening to the Marine Corps Cadance, 10 November. Then visit the Marine Corps on social media to share the love! Don’t forget to use #HappyBirthdayMarineCorps.
All images courtesy of marines.com