There may not be much in the way of age-specific themed party supplies for the Marine’s latest birthday, but that’s far from going to keep the military branch from celebrating its 243rd birthday this Saturday.
In preparation for the battles of the American Revolution, future President John Adams drafted a resolution to create “two Battalions of Marines,” which was adopted by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Over the next two centuries, Marines have deployed across the globe and completed countless missions to maintain America’s security. Every year, on November 10, the military branch celebrates its birthday.
What Are Some Interesting Marine Corps Facts?
By March 1776, the Marines completed their first amphibious raid at Fort Nassau in the Bahamas. Then, on July 11, 1798, Adams, who was president at the time, signed a bill declaring the Marine Corps to be a permanent military fixture under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy, according to History.com.
The Marines’ Hymn contains the line, “To the shores of Tripoli,” which is an ode to the 1805 Battle of Derna. A group of Marines marched 600 miles across the Libyan Desert to rescue the crew of the USS Philadelphia, who had been kidnapped by pirates.
Each military branch has its own motto and the Marine Corps’ is “Semper Fidelis,” which is translated to “Always Faithful.”
To enlist in the Marine Corps, a recruit must be at least 16 years of age and a junior in high school, and under the age of 29, although, there are exceptions to both of the age requirements. Recruits must also have a high school diploma.
What Was the Secretary of the Navy’s Birthday Message?
Each year, the secretary of the Navy offers a message to Marines, civilians, families and friends in honor of the branch’s birthday. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer shared his message on Tuesday and said that since its creation, Marines have “set the standard for military excellence.”
Spencer specifically mentioned veteran Sergeant Major Canley, who he met when Canley was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
“It was a reminder of the service and sacrifice of the unbroken line of patriots, from its beginning in the earliest days of the revolution, through the Marines it was my honor to serve alongside, to the warriors who stand watch throughout the globe today,” he said.
The Navy secretary extended his gratitude to every Marine, their families and their loved ones, but noted that now is the time to build on the foundation of hard work and dedication in the Marine Corps.
In a direct message to those serving in the Marine Corps, Spencer told them to solve problems in front of them, send solutions up the chain, and empower those they command to follow suit.
“With your help, I have no doubt we will leverage every resource, leading practice, and efficiency we can find with the professionalism, integrity, and accountability the American people have come to expect from the Corps after 243 years of honor and valor,” the message concluded.
How Do Marines Celebrate the Big Day?
Once a year, United States Marines gather across the globe for the biggest event on the calendar, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Marines are invited to bring a guest and are required to wear their Dress Blues. Likewise, female guests are expected to wear a floor length gown and male guests should wear a suit or tuxedo, even.
Throughout the night there is the typical drinking, eating and dancing of similar jovial events, but it’s also a night to commemorate the history of the military branch and includes a ceremony. The 2018 birthday ball will take place on Saturday, November 17.
Who Said What About Marines?
Over the years, the Marines Corps, like other branches of the military, have gained recognition from government leaders, prominent figures and civilians alike, making for some very impassioned statements.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” -Former President Ronald Reagan.
“Carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is “No better friend – No Worse Enemy than a U.S. Marine.” -Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“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
“I’ll never forget them or their spirit. Those boys were burned and bruised. But I never saw a Marine who was beaten.” -Navy Flight Nurse Norma Crotty, Iwo Jima
Have Any Celebrities Served in the Marine Corps?
Surprisingly enough, there’s a decent amount of people in show business today who once served in the United States Marine Corps.
Drew Carey, an actor and comedian, served in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1980 to 1986. He told Military.com that if he hadn’t gotten his big break in show business, he would still be in the military.
“I still wear my hair short and have the glasses. Also, I enjoyed the regimen and camaraderie. I knew that once I left the Reserves, I would give back to the military, so I teamed up with the USO,” Carey said.
Actor Adam Driver, best known for his roles on HBO’s “Girls” and as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, enlisted in the Marine Corps after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. However, he was medically discharged about three years later when he broke his sternum in a mountain biking accident, according to Task and Purpose.
Other famous faces who are veterans of the Marine Corps include actor and comedian Rob Riggle and actor J.W. Cortés.
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