The US Marine Corps being Marines do things differently. This includes their burial details which differ from that of all the other armed services. For instance, they only use six casket bearers and not the usual eight that the other services use. As such, the Marines selected for this position tend to be, shall we say, beefy.
Before they are selected for the Body Bearers Section, Marines go through months of training at the Ceremonial Drill School. The average training time for a Marine before being selected as a Body Bearer is from six to 12 months. To be selected, the Marine must be a corporal or lower in rank and pass exacting strength standards.
Resolved, That two Battalions of marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; and that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken, that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress: that they be distinguished by the names of the first and second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.
Ordered, That a copy of the above be transmitted to the General.
Since that time, the US Marine Corps has been defending America.
And it isn’t just men doing the defending.
As my fellow Polite Society Podcast co-host Amy Dillon will attest. Among other jobs in the Marines, Amy served as a drill instructor at Parris Island.
Since 1921 the Commandant of the Marine Corps has released a birthday message on November 10th. Commandant David Berger has continued that tradition and his message is here. He says, in part:
The strength of our Corps is our Marines. Our success depends on all Marines embodying the values in which our Corps was founded; it requires leveraging the talents and ingenuity of every Marine to strengthen our Corps. Since 1775, courageous Marines have answered the call to fight for freedom and shaped our reputation as the most feared fighting force the world has seen. Marines from each generation approached every battle with a lethal combination of versatility, perseverance, and adaptability that has allowed us to prevail in any clime and place.
Even though I come from an Army family, I recognize that the Marine Corps, more than any other branch of the US Armed Forces, seems to make the greatest effort to transmit their values, history, and tradition to the next generation of Marines.
So to all my friends and readers who served in the United States Marines Corps, Semper Fi and Happy Birthday!
Today marks the 243rd birthday of the founding of the United States Marine Corps at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Even though I come from an Army family, I recognize the role that the Marines have played in protecting our country here and abroad.
Below is the Commandant of the Marine Corp’s birthday message. So to all my friends, new and old, who served wearing the globe and anchor, Semper Fi!
Mentioned in the Commandant’s message is Gunny Sgt. John Canley who was recently awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and leadership during the Battle of Hue’. If you’d like to know more about his actions as well as the actions of all the Marines who fought to retake Hue’, I’d urge you to read Mark Bowden’s book Hue’ 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. The hardback is available on Amazon at deep discount ($8.90 as of this posting) which is actually cheaper than the paperback.
On this, the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, I’d like
to offer my thanks to all Marines, present or past, for their
And what would be better for Devil Dogs seeking adventure and travel than to ride a leopard jaguar.
And in a more serious vein, here is the Commandant’s Birthday Message which salutes the men and women of the US Marine Corps and their service to our nation. I do notice Gen. Amos still uses the knife hand to get his message across.
Today marks the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
The tradition of celebrating the Marine Corps’ birthday started with Maj. Gen. John J. Lejeune in 1921 when he issued Marine Corps Order No. 47 (Series 1921). That was, in essence, the first Commandant’s Message celebrating the founding of the Marine Corps.
759. The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.
(1) On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the 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.
(2) The record of our corps is one which will 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 is the long eras 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, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
(3) In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our 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.
(4) 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 have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the 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 men 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.
John A. Lejeune,
Major General Commandant
This year’s Commandant’s Message from Marine Commandant James F. Amos is a little bit more technologically advanced. Nonetheless, it celebrates the spirit of the Marine Corps over its 236 year history.