The United States Marine Corps Birthday is observed annually on November 10.
The United States Marine Corps, a branch of the United States Armed Forces, is responsible for providing power protection from the sea using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. The Continental Congress first established the Continental Marines on November 10, 1775, leading up to the American Revolution. Two battalions of Marines fought for independence both on land and at sea.
The birth of the U.S. Marine Corps began as a way to augment naval forces in the Revolutionary War. The recruiting headquarters was in the Tun Tavern on Water Street in Philadelphia, which is considered to be the birthplace of the Marines.
The Corps was abolished at the end of the Revolutionary War. However, on July 11, 1798, Congress ordered the creation of the Corps, named it the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and directed that it be available for service under the Secretary of the Navy.
The USMC shares many resources with the other branches of the United States military. However, the Corps has sought to maintain its own identity with regards to mission, funding and assets while utilizing the support available from the larger military branches. While the Marine Corps does have fewer installations than other branches, many Army posts, Naval stations and Air Force bases have a Marine presence.
In his birthday greeting more than 70 years ago, General Alexander Vandegrift, our 18th Commandant noted that “A birthday is a fitting time to peer backward – and forward.” That year, Marines reflected on an extraordinary year in combat during their amphibious drive across the Pacific. Despite the challenges and the horrific conditions, Marines prevailed at Guam, Saipan, and Peleliu. On 10 November 1944, Marines looked back with pride on their accomplishment – confident in their ability to meet future challenges.
In 2004, 20,000 Marines deployed to Al Anbar Province, Iraq – many Marines celebrated the birthday in places like Fallujah, Ramadi, and Al Qaim while decisively engaged in combat. That year, Marines also responded to the crisis in the Pacific following a tsunami which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. On 10 November 2004, Marines looked back with pride on their accomplishments – confident in their ability to meet future challenges.
Some things change. We have adapted our organization, training, and equipment to the ever-changing operating environment. Some things remain the same. Marines continue to attack challenges with the same courage, commitment, loyalty, self-sacrifice and adaptability as their predecessors in Peleliu and Fallujah. On 10 November 2014, Marines looked back with pride on our accomplishments- confident in our ability to meet future challenges.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Thank a Marine for their service. Use #MarineCorpsBirthday to post on social media.
In 1921, General John Archer Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, initiated the tradition of publishing a reminder of honorable service to all Marine commands on the anniversary of the Corps birth.
Since then, the United States Marine Corps Birthday has been honored by its members every year by republishing General Lejeune’s reminder. Gradually, balls and banquets were added to the birthday celebration.
The first formal dance took place in 1923 at the Ft. Mifflin Marine Barracks in Pennsylvania. Mock battles, sporting events and races have occurred as well.
In 1925, the historic Benjamin Franklin Hotel hosted the first formal Marine Ball in honor of the 150th birthday of the Marine Corp. General Lejeune and Secretary of War Dwight Davis attended.
It was Commandant, General Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. who brought even more tradition to the warriors always faithful and always loyal to each other, their country and their traditions. Beginning in 1952, the formal cake cutting ceremony began where the first piece goes to the oldest Marine present and the second piece to the youngest. This tradition is still practiced today.
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