Happy Birthday Marines!

Today my beloved Corps is 234 years old. I have celebrated many a birthday, some at elegant, formal balls, others in the mud cutting an MRE pound cake with a KaBar. Still others with a 12 pack or bottle of Jack and an old photo album, making solitary toasts to long lost comrades. This year is different though, with Crumb Crunchie being deployed. I imagine that this year I will be having a fair number of toasts to he and his buddies safe return and to their ultimate victory.

All through our history the Corps has been a unique bastard of the military. Rising from two battalions of Marines first authorized by the Continental Congress in 1775, to a height of 6 full divisions in WWII, we have forged a legacy fighting in places most people could not find on a map. Our traditions and our honor have been paid for in blood, symbolized by the blood stripe worn on the trousers of NCO’s and officers. We have survived because of those traditions, no Marine wanting to be the first to fail those who have gone before them. We do not do what we do because we are better, or because we are some sort of supermen. No, it is the Marines who went before us who were the supermen. We do what we do because of the standards that they set, that we must meet. It is not that we won’t fail ourselves, it’s that we won’t fail them.

So on this Birthday, I will toast those who have gone before, those who are going now, and those who will come. An unbroken chain of valor.

Happy Birthday Marines.

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I am pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me I will kill you all.”

General James Mattis to Iraqi tribal leaders.

“It’s fun to shoot some people” General James Mattis, 2004.

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

Hell, these are Marines.  Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima.  Bagdad ain’t shit.
Marine Major General John F. Kelly

The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!
MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952

Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.
Navy Times; November 1994

Why in hell can’t the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can’t they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff
during the assault on Grenada, 1983

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They’re aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They’ve got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
RAdm. “Jay” R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or “we’ll blow you away.” And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, “Igaralli ahow,” which means “Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, my mistake”.
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997

Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?
GySgt. Daniel J. “Dan” Daly, USMC near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines’ attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over.
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

Don’t you forget that you’re First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!
Col. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

You’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!
Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943

I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.
1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

Courage is endurance for one moment more…
Unknown Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam

My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers… These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost.
2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II

A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery

The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Have existed since time began.

But the greatest of loves, The quintessence of loves.
even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love,
of one drunken Marine for another.

“Semper Fidelis”
General Louis H. Wilson
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Toast given at 203rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Camp Lejueune, N.C. 1978

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are.
Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.
General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946

Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy

I can’t say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like ‘brilliant,’ it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called ‘impenetrable barrier.’ It was a classic- absolutely classic- military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army
Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991

The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.
Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing, U.S. Army Commander of American Forces in World War I

Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.
Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings.

The American Marines have it [pride], and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it.
General Mark Clark, U.S. Army

Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary.
Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps

A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.
Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863

The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand.
Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war.
General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea, overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5

Where the hell do you put the bayonet on this sunbitch?  “Chesty” Puller when shown a flame thrower for the first time.

You don’t hurt ’em if you don’t hit ’em.” (Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC, 1962.)

Retreat Hell! We’re just attacking in another direction.” (Attributed to Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, Korea, December 1950.)

Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning.” (Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.)

“We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem!”
CHESTY PULLER, USMC

“Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!”
MAJ. HOLDREDGE

“I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence.”
GEN. JOHNSON, U.S. ARMY

“Retreat hell! We just got here!”
CAPT. LLOYD WILLIAMS, USMC to a retreating French officer on the approach march to the Battle of Belleau Wood.

Stand gentlemen! He served on Samar!
—A command given by Marines whenever a recognized survivor of the 1902 expedition to that island in the Philippines entered the mess or club.

43 comments

  1. 1
    NR Pax says:

    Thank you, Crunchie. From one Marine to another, Happy Birthday and wishes for many more with your son at home.

  2. 2
    LC Aggie Sith, a goddess, only different.... says:

    Amazing, Crunchie…..what is amazing to us civilians is run-of-the-mill ordinary for Marines.

    Happy Birthday, and Semper Fi!!!

    :em04:

  3. 3
    1oldleg says:

    Happy Birthday Marines!

    Glad to have you here!

    1oldleg
    Fmr Capt, USAR

  4. 4
    dasbow says:

    May as well get a Happy Birthday from the US Air Force in here!

  5. 5
    LC Rurik says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRUNCHIE :em03: :em03: :em03:
    A rearkably fitting tribute to the best, and now only, real fighting force left in America. :em04: :em04: :em04:

  6. 6
    emily_nelson says:

    :em04: :em04: :em93: :em03: :em03:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRUNCHIE!!

  7. 7

    Though our flag here will be at half mast for a few, it’s out there for You Guys too.

    Geeze, it’s quiet in here,, (walks over to jukebox digin’ in pocket)

    It’s your day, here’s your song,, To your Health Marines!

    And, the words:

    From the Halls of Montezuma,
    To the shores of Tripoli;
    We fight our country’s battles
    In the air, on land, and sea;
    First to fight for right and freedom
    And to keep our honor clean;
    We are proud to claim the title
    Of United States Marine.

    Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
    From dawn to setting sun;
    We have fought in every clime and place
    Where we could take a gun;
    In the snow of far-off Northern lands
    And in sunny tropic scenes;
    You will find us always on the job
    The United States Marines.

    Here’s health to you and to our Corps
    Which we are proud to serve;
    In many a strife we’ve fought for life
    And never lost our nerve;
    If the Army and the Navy
    Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
    They will find the streets are guarded
    By United States Marines.

    Again in 1941, we sailed a north’ard course
    and found beneath the midnight sun, the Viking and the Norse.
    The Iceland girls were slim and fair, and fair the Iceland scenes,
    and the Army found in landing there, the United States Marines.

  8. 8
    CPL0341 says:

    Happy Birthday, Crunchy. We don’t look too bad for being so damn old, do we?

    As per regulations, here is the Commandant’s message, followed by Lejune’s address.

    Semper Fi, my brothers.

    CPL0341, out.

    =================

    R 051329Z OCT 09
    UNCLASSIFIED//
    ALMAR 033/09
    MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
    SUBJ/UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE – 10 NOVEMBER 2009//
    GENTEXT/REMARKS/

    1. UNITED STATES MARINES REPRESENT THE BEST YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OUR NATION HAS TO OFFER. TO BE A MARINE IS TO BE A MEMBER OF AMERICA’S WARRIOR CLASS – TO BE ONE OF THE FEW WHO STEPS FORWARD WITH THE COURAGE AND CONVICTION TO FACE WHATEVER DANGERS AWAIT. OUR NATION EXPECTS HER MARINES TO BE READY WHEN THE NATION CALLS; TO LEAVE FAMILY AND THE COMFORTS OF HOME BEHIND; TO MARCH INTO BATTLE AND THRIVE UNDER AUSTERITY; AND TO COME HOME UNDER A VICTORY PENNANT.

    2. FROM AL ANBAR IN THE WEST OF IRAQ, TO HELMAND PROVINCE IN THE SOUTH OF AFGHANISTAN, OUR CORPS OF MARINES CAN ALWAYS EXPECT TO BE FOUND WHERE THE FIGHT IS TOUGHEST. SUCH IS OUR HISTORY. TODAY, AS WE WRITE THE FINAL CHAPTER ON OUR VICTORY IN IRAQ, WE WILL INCREASINGLY TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY IN AFGHANISTAN AND ADD NEW PAGES TO OUR LEGACY IN PLACES CALLED DELARAM, NOW ZAD, AND GARMSIR. ONE DAY, WE WILL RETURN TO OUR NAVAL HERITAGE AND PATROL THE HIGH SEAS WITH OUR NAVY BROTHERS. SUCH IS OUR FUTURE.

    3. AS WE CELEBRATE OUR CORPS’ 234TH BIRTHDAY, WE FIRST PAUSE TO REFLECT AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THOSE MARINES WHO HAVE GIVEN THE LAST FULL MEASURE IN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM. WE EXTEND OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO OUR MARINE CORPS FAMILIES – THE UNSUNG HEROES WHO ENDURE HARDSHIP AND SACRIFICE SO THAT WE ARE ABLE TO GO FORWARD AND ACCOMPLISH ANY MISSION. WE EXTEND OUR APPRECIATION TO OUR COUNTRYMEN WHO HAVE ANSWERED OUR EVERY NEED. AND WE CELEBRATE THE MAGNIFICENT MEN AND WOMEN WHO WILLINGLY AND SELFLESSLY CONTINUE TO GO INTO HARM’S WAY TO PROTECT THIS GREAT NATION.

    4. TO ALL WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE, TO THOSE WHO WEAR THE UNIFORM TODAY, AND TO THE FAMILIES THAT GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO FORGE AHEAD – I WISH YOU ALL A HEARTFELT HAPPY 234TH BIRTHDAY!

    5. SEMPER FIDELIS! JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//

    ================

    On November 1st. 1921, John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, directed that a reminder of the Corps be published by every command, to all Marines throughout the globe, on the Birthday of the Corps. Since the day, Marines have continued to distinguish themselves on many battlefields and foreign shores, in war and peace. On this Birthday of the Corps, therefore, in compliance with the will of the 13th Commandant, Article 38 United States Marine Corps Manual, Edition of 1921, is published as follows:

    “On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousands of men have borne that name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

    The record of our Corps is one which bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world’s history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation’s foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war and in the long era of tranquility at home generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas so that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

    In every battle and skirmish since the Birth of the Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term “Marine” has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

    This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation and has long been the distinguishing mark of Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the me of our nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as “Soldiers of the Sea” since the founding of the Corps.”

  9. 9
    Princess Natasha, Decadent Delicious Deviant says:

    Happy Birthday to the Marines!! :em03: Crunchie, you and your son, and your brothers-Marines are DA BOMB!! :em69:

  10. 10
    Shaitana says:

    As a Ground Pounder, I would like to wish you and the Corps a Happy Birthday!
    :em04:

  11. 11
    LC Draco says:

    From the (an) Army Rep here…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :em03:

    When I was working with some Marines in Iraq, they were some of the most professional soldiers (and best damn shooters!!) I have ever had the honor of with which to serve!! :em04:

  12. 12
    Mudshark says:

    In Honor of my freind, Major Don Miller, USMC, I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to the Marines. The most fateful decision of my life was to not join the Corps in 1971 as a 17 year old high school grad. I spent the next 27 years wasting my life and mind. In 1997 I returned from the dark side with the help of Don and other good men like him. I will be eternally grateful, and I know my father can now look down from heaven and see his son walking the right path. Thank GOD for all those who have gone on before and may HE protect all those protecting us today!

  13. 13
    rickn8or says:

    Happy Birthday Marines, from this old squid.

  14. 14
    LC PrimEviL says:

    Happy Birthday Marines!! :em03: Semper Fi, you magnificent bunch of crazy assholes, and thank you for your
    service and sacrifice. :em04:

  15. 15
    Library Czar says:

    Happy Birthday from this old Zoomie.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    LC hilljohnny says:

    happy birthday to the mean, green fighting machine. :em04:
    crunchie, be sure to give our love to the crumb next time you talk. prayers will continue.
    :em69:

  18. 18
    Mrs. Who says:

    :em04:

    I’m a Navy brat, and was in the Air Force…but always knew that the Marines have something *more*. Happy Birthday!

  19. 19

    Crunchie, All the best for You, Yours and the Corps from this Kraut tanker. :em04: Happy Birthday !! :em03:

  20. 20
  21. 21
    M167A1 says:

    Yeah..

    Happy Birthday you freakin Jarheads….. :em04:

  22. 22
    Lizard says:

    My dad was Army and uncle was Navy…….but most of my friends were and are Marines. I lovingly tell my Marine buddies that they are psycho….AND I WOULDN’T WANT IT ANY OTHER WAY :em03:

  23. 23
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    To my Marine friend Joshua, giving his life in Viet Nam…..
    To my wifes uncle Gene, serving in the Pacific theatre in WW11….
    From a squid proud to ferry you guys around….wondering if you would return.
    To the finest fighting force on the planet…. :em04:
    Dammit Crunchie…you made my eyes wet!

  24. 24
    LC Joseph Dromedary says:

    Semper Fi bro!

    Now, if you guys can only find an aircraft big enough to carry your landing craft, and then push them out, you could join Jolly Jumpers everywhere!!

    All my best to you, Crumb Crunchie, and your beloved Corps! :em03: :em04:

  25. 25
    LOBO says:

    From a grateful civilian, Happy Birthday Marines. :em04:

  26. 26
    LC Gunsniper says:

    Happy Birthday, Leathernecks! From and old Army gun bunny.

  27. 27
    rickn8or says:

    …but most of my friends were and are Marines. I lovingly tell my Marine buddies that they are psycho….AND I WOULDN’T WANT IT ANY OTHER WAY

    Sometimes, psycho is goood. Just don’t go hangin’ around any of those chAir Force types.

  28. 28
    Lizard says:

    rickn8or sez:

    …but most of my friends were and are Marines. I lovingly tell my Marine buddies that they are psycho….AND I WOULDN’T WANT IT ANY OTHER WAY
    Sometimes, psycho is goood. Just don’t go hangin’ around any of those chAir Force types.

    Marine psycho is very good.
    :em04:

  29. 29

    Happy Birthday from a retired AFSO. SEMPER FI!

  30. 30

    In regards to rickn8or’s comment @ 27: Some of us are crazier than Marines. *AHEM*

  31. 31
    Patriot-Dad says:

    I wonder how they celebrate in Basic–My son is at about week 9 in San Deigo ? I’m x-AF and I don’t know>

  32. 32
    Papa Ray says:

    Have another Great Birthday Marines!!!

    Papa Ray
    Central Texas
    Grunt-retired.

  33. 33
    LC Alric says:

    Happy 234th Birthday, United States Marine Corps! :em03: :em04:

  34. 34
    Gray Wolf says:

    From an ex-squid to my brothers and sisters in the Corps – Happy Birthday, and Semper Fi! :em04: :em04: :em04:

  35. 35
    MasterGuns Imperial Swampmaster says:

    Semper Fi,

    John

  36. 36

    Semper Fi! Happy Birthday Marines!! Keep kicking ass! :em04: :em04:

  37. 37

    Semper Fi,

    I did very little work with the Marines when I worked DoD, but the work that I did do with them was great…..loved every second of it, and came away very humbled by the professionalism, intelligence, and initiative demonstrated by all of them.

    Happy birthday Marines…..God bless you all

  38. 38
    Cortillaen says:

    Crunchie, here’s another one for the list:

    We stole the Eagle from the Air Force,
    The Anchor from the Navy,
    The Rope from the Army,
    And on the Seventh Day when God rested,
    We overan His perimeter and stole the Globe,
    And have been running the show ever since.
    -Unknown

    God bless the Marines and have mercy on their enemies, ’cause they sure as hell won’t!. :em04:

  39. 39
    LC BOATS says:

    As an ex Navy man from a Navy family –Grand dad , father , and uncles and brother we have had the privilege of serving with Americas finest Marines. God bless and happy birthday. :em04:

  40. 40
    glasshalfempty says:

    Semper Fi Marines and Happy 234th!

    To quote my platoon’s slogan in Iraq (the third time) “Beat their ass and take their shit”.

    glasshalfempty
    SSgt USMC

  41. 41
    LC Draco says:

    Cortillaen sez:

    Crunchie, here’s another one for the list:

    We stole the Eagle from the Air Force,
    The Anchor from the Navy,
    The Rope from the Army,
    And on the Seventh Day when God rested,
    We overan His perimeter and stole the Globe,
    And have been running the show ever since.
    -Unknown

    God bless the Marines and have mercy on their enemies, ’cause they sure as hell won’t!.

    Never heard that, but that is AWESOME FUNNY!!!

  42. 42

    Happy Birthday Marines, from yet another (retired) squid.

  43. 43
    LC Xystus says:

    Then there’s this one, quoting Pope (or is it Dryden?):

    To err is human, to forgive Divine

    –Neither of which is Marine Corps policy.

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