Happy 239th Birthday United States Marine Corps

“It is notable that the world doesn’t tremble before the USMC, only its’ enemies do, and that is the finest tribute to the greatest assemblage of fighting men that the world has known in almost two and a half centuries.”

My dear old friend Joe D said that many years ago on the occasion of the Corps’ birthday. It is a fitting testament to the Corps’ ethos, to the unofficial motto of “No greater friend, no worse enemy” as penned by General James Mattis in his letter to the First Marine Division as they jumped off on the 21 Days to Baghdad.

This week all around the world United States Marines will celebrate the 239th Birthday of our beloved Corps. Some will attend extravagant balls, resplendent in their immaculate Dress Blues with beautiful belles on their arms. Others will take a quick break on the side of a dusty trail in a combat zone to cut an MRE pound cake with a KaBar. Still others will blow the dust off of an old photo album. But no matter whether the celebration is done carefree, in solemn lucidity, or with one hand on a rifle and a watchful eye on Indian country, it will be poignant and significant. They always are. Today we celebrate our heritage, our history; our victories and our triumphs, both personal and collectively. And today we honor 239 yeas of our fallen brethren by carrying forward the legacy they left us, the legacy that they died to fulfill and honor.

And we will remember.

We will remember friends that we loved, most of the time. We will remember the seminal moments of our lives that changed us forever. We will remember the good and the bad. For some, the memories mostly have yet to be made. For others of us they are fading, like the gung-ho photos  gathering dust on our mantle, more youthful versions of ourselves, posing with rifles and machine guns, a naive bravado yet to be tempered by reality. But what does not fade, and never will, is our pride.

For my brothers who went before, thank you for the legacy you left, and the standard of excellence you set for us to try and meet. Your valor and the insurmountable challenges you overcame inspired us to carry on your legacy, and to not fail you. We were able to do what we did because you had done far, far more before us. We would not be the ones who let you down. You taught us that we fight not because we hate what is in front of us, but because we love what is behind us. And those who are on our left and right. You taught that while it is stoic and noble to suffer our demons in silence, that it is also allowed to cry on a brothers shoulder. But never in front of those who don’t understand. You are the salts, and we are not worthy of your respect. Yet respect us you do, because you were once where we are. And for these gifts we are eternally in your debt.

For my brothers who wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor today, cherish every second, whether they are good or bad, for the day will come, trust me, that you will miss them. Remember what that emblem means, all that it carries, and never dishonor it. You carry the future of our Corps on your shoulders, for the torch has been passed. You now bear the same title as Puller, Basilone, Daly. Be worthy of it. Be proud, resolute and unwavering in your commitment to our God, our country and our Corps. Be aggressive in the assault and tenacious in the defense. Be vicious to your enemies, and compassionate to the innocent. Be the living embodiment of “No greater friend, no worse enemy”, for that is the true essence of the warrior ethos, which has only been truly exemplified by very, very few other military units in mankind’s history. We are prouder of you than you will ever know. Not until you too, with graying hair and fading tattoos, watch as the next generation does what you are doing now.

For those who will one day earn the title, if you are good enough, do the rest of us proud. Fight hard to preserve the truly unique culture, traditions, and identity of the Corps. Do not allow the increasing close cooperation with the other branches to dilute what it is that makes our Corps unique. We have our own jargon, our own idiosyncrasies, and our own Esprit de Corps. Guard it, preserve it, and defend it jealously, for it is what makes us Marines. One day you will understand.

God bless the Corps and all who have ever proudly bore the title United States Marine.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are. Semper Fidelis and happy birthday.

6 comments

  1. 1
    LC R6 growls and barks:

    Happy Birthday to The Corps. God bless ‘em all. Heart breakers and widow makers.

    Now somebody please tell these guys that rolling thier sleeves inside out creates a perfect sight picture.
    :em05:

  2. 2
    Sir Fresh Sign growls and barks:

    Thank you Crunchie and all Marines. Happy Birthday!

  3. 3

    Thanks Crunch, Happy birthday to you and all Marines everywhere……

    Today I remember Lance Corporals Nathan Wood and Shane Swanberg, both students at the high school where I taught and both KIA in Iraq. Semper Fi, you will not be forgotten.

  4. 4

    Oorah, Semper Fi!
    LC Sir Clambake, Imperial Black Ops Technician, K.o.E. recently posted..Discrimination?My Profile

  5. 5
    LC Guy S growls and barks:

    And from this ol’ retired Squid, Semper Fi !! Served along side many Marines of the airedale persuasion, one would be terrifically hard pressed to find a finer group of guys. So speaking as one who was part of the branch which produced your pay checks….Happy Birthday!!

  6. 6
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    Happy birthday, you glorious misfits!

    And many, many more to come!

    OO-rah!
    Emperor Misha I recently posted..British nannies set new standard in utter idiocyMy Profile