Happy 248th Birthday, USMC!

November 10, 2023 is the 248th birthday of the US Marines Corps. While I come from an Army family and the Complementary Spouse is from an Air Force family, we both recognize the dedication that Marines have to this country and our freedom.

I try to recognize the event with old recruiting posters and the official birthday message.

And the official birthday message is below. It evidently was recorded sometime in October as the Commandant, Gen. Eric Smith, had a heart attack on October 29th. Best wishes to him for a full recovery.

Happy 247th Birthday, USMC!

Today marks the 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps founding at Tun Tavern. Interestingly, the person commissioned by the Second Continental Congress to raise two battalions of Marines, Samuel Nicholas, was the innkeeper of Tun Tavern and a Quaker. He is buried at Arch Street Friends Meeting’s graveyard where the Marines lay a wreath in his memory on the Marine Corps’ birthday.

Nicholas gives new meaning to the term “Fighting Quakers”. I wonder how many Quakers are aware of this connection to the Marine Corps. I know that I never heard of it when I attended Guilford College which is a Quaker college.

Nicholas started recruiting immediately upon receiving his commission from the Continental Congress. In that spirit, here are a couple of older recruiting posters.

Finally, here is the official birthday message from the Commandant in video form.

Happy 246th, US Marine Corps!

Today marks the 246th birthday of the founding of the US Marine Corps in Tun Tavern.

Think of it – the only armed service founded in a bar.

My friend Lara Smith whose husband Ed served in the Marines posted this on Facebook to point it out.

I always tend to post old recruiting posters in commemoration of this birthday. I found two that caught my attention.

The first from WWII when women were sought to free men to go into combat. Even then, the Marine Corps called these women “Marines” and not “women Marines”.

The second is more modern and reflects the fact that today’s battlefield is not so defined.

I think my friend Amy Dillon, all 4 feet 11 inches of her, would agree as would those recruits she trained as a Marine drill and marksmanship instructor.

Finally, the official birthday video from the Commandant Gen. David Berger.

Finally, to all my friends who have served in the Corps, Semper Fi and thank you.

Happy 245th Birthday, USMC

Today marks the 245th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps at Tun’s Tavern. While I never served in the armed forces and actually come from an Army family, I have a lot of respect for the Marine Corps ethos.

The Commandant’s Birthday video featuring Gen. David Berger and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black is below:

His birthday message is found here. He concludes his message by writing:

In a year of significant change and uncertainty, I am reminded of the words of American novelist, John Dos Passos, “In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men’s reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present…” Never forget, what you do today becomes the foundation for the generations of Marines that will follow. There is no challenge we cannot overcome, together, by holding fast to our core values. Happy 245th Birthday Marines.

He is correct – it has been a year of change and uncertainty.

Memorial Day – Marine Corps Body Bearers

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.

They call themselves “the last to let you down”.

Happy 244th Birthday, US Marine Corps

On November 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress commissioned Tun Tavern‘s innkeeper Samuel Nicholas to raise two battalions of Marines.


(Philadelphia) Friday, November 10, 1775

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!

Happy 243rd Birthday, USMC!

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.

Happy 238th Birthday, USMC

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
service.Semper Fi!

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.

Happy 236th, US Marine Corps

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.

Semper Fi!