In a small Philadelphia tavern (called Tun Tavern) on November 10, 1775, the United States Marine Corps was born. What a way to get folks signed up; join the Corps get free beer. Sign me up! Throughout the history of America they have proven to be a fierce defender of her freedoms and can be deployed on a moments notice, a force in readiness. Today we celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday.
In 233 years, to my knowledge, the Marines have only lost 1 battle, the battle of Wake Island. They lost due to being extremely outnumbered and outgunned, without re-supply. The Marines recaptured the area shortly afterward. The Marines are ferocious fighters and have been proven over time with the “Frozen Chosin”, Boxer Rebellion and probably the most famous was the battle of Belleau Wood against the Germans in WWI. The Germans so feared the U.S. Marines they called them Tuefel Hunden (closely translated as devil dogs) or hounds of hell. And if you ever want to know who is arguably the most cherished Marine in the Corps history most will tell you Chesty Puller.
The history of the Marine Corps is entirely too long to put in one commentary so I will just give you a few of my favorite quotes about the United States Marine Corps which I was proud to have served.
“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]
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 Joint Chiefs of Staff; during the assault on Grenada, 1983]
“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, U.S. President; 1985]
“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]
“Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it were some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts ungentlemanly short, worshiping their Commandant almost as if he were a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They will fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action and are the cockiest SOB’s I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond a man’s normal limits. But, their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and generally speaking the United States Marines I have come in contact with are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet.” [Anonymous Canadian Citizen 1969]
“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]
Happy Birthday Marines!!!