WASHINGTON: Today, November 10, we celebrate the Marine Corps. 244 Birthday. A day made all the more special as tomorrow is Veterans Day. Few Americans realize that the USMC is older than the founding of the country by eight months. The Marine’s were founded on November 10, 1775, well before our national birthday of July 4, 1776. The Corp. was started to help augment naval forces in the Revolutionary War.
The recruiting headquarters was set up by Capt. Samuel Nicholas in the Tun Tavern on Water Street in Philadelphia, considered to be the birthplace of the Marines.
But what has made this branch of the United States Armed Forces so remarkable in its nearly two and a half centuries of existence?
On November 10, 1775, two battalions of Continental Marines were formed in Philadelphia. Their purpose was to fight for independence both at sea and onshore. Since then, the role of the modern Marine Corps fights from the sky as well.
United States Marine Corp. – Fighter’s in America’s Wars
From its inception, the United States Marine Corps has distinguished itself by serving in the majority of American wars, gaining particular prominence in the 20th century thanks to its expertise in amphibious warfare.
The USMC became a component of the Department of the Navy in 1834. It is one of the four branches of the Department of Defense represented on the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and, as one of seven uniformed services of the United States, the Marines are the most highly decorated service branch in the nation.
So adept has the Marine Corps become in all phases of warfare that they are known as “America’s third air force” and “second land army.”
The most decorated Marine in the history of this most decorated military force was the United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, who served in the USMC for 37 years. Puller is one of two U.S. servicemen to be awarded five Navy Crosses, and, combined with his Distinguished Service Cross, he is the only person to be honored with six of the nation’s second-highest awards for valor.
With such a remarkable record, there can be no doubt that “Chesty” Puller was the ultimate Marine. But if his service is not a testament to that fact, his words confirm it.
Responsible for memorable statements such as, “You don’t hurt ’em if you don’t hit ’em,” or “Take me to the Brig. I want to see the real Marines,” or “We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them,” Puller faithfully represented the ideology of every U.S. Marine.
Historically, the Corps has seen more action in non-naval combat than the other way around. Among its best-known successes was the action in Tripoli, the War of 1812, the Battle of Chapultepec and the Korean War.
The Marine Corps was initially founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels, providing security for the ship and its crew during boarding actions. They were also responsible for defending officers from mutiny.
Their first amphibious landing took place in March of 1776 during the Revolutionary War when the Marines gained control of Fort Montague and Fort Nassau in New Providence in the Bahamas.
During Thomas Jefferson’s administration, the Corps distinguished itself against the Barbary pirates when William Eaton and First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led eight Marines and 500 mercenaries to capture Tripoli. As a result, the action has been immortalized in the Marine Corps Hymn with the words, “To the shores of Tripoli.”
An important symbol of that action is the Mameluke Sword which is carried by Marine officers today to commemorate the Battle of Tripoli Harbor.
The President, Mrs. Trump Message to the United States Marine Corp.
As Commander in Chief, I send my best wishes to the United States Marine Corps on its 244th birthday.
Since 1775, Marines have been known for always being faithful in their duty to defend our country and Constitution and for striking fear in the hearts of America’s adversaries. From their inception at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Marines have fought in “every clime and place” without ever losing their nerve.
As we solemnly look ahead to the 75th Anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima this coming February, we are reminded that even in the face of hostile enemy fire, Marines never falter and never fail. The courage shown over the course of that battle—memorably captured in the iconic photo of our flag being raised on Mount Suribachi—is forever enshrined in the heart of our Nation.
In recounting the 244 historic years of the United States Marine Corps, we remember the courage and conviction of the Marines who laid down their lives in defense of freedom. Their relentless toughness, outstanding leadership, and unwavering allegiance are invaluable assets to our Nation, protecting our freedom and our way of life.
Melania and I pray that God watches over all of the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.
Happy 244th Birthday @USMC! Fearless and ferocious, Marines faithfully and courageously defend our Freedoms, in every clime and place. I salute all who served in this elite fighting force, carrying out the proud legacy with courage and distinction, Semper Fidelis. pic.twitter.com/MAWFtK9Gre
— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) November 10, 2019
Today, the #USNavy wishes to thank the men and women of the @USMC, for 244 years of warfighting excellence and uncommon valor. This is your day! Semper Fi #HappyBirthdayMarines #BlueGreenTeam pic.twitter.com/xnLJmkfjbf
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) November 10, 2019
Adapted from a previously published article