This November 10th, the United States Marine Corps will celebrate its 243rd birthday.
It began its long service as a fighting force for both sea and land on Nov. 10, 1775 in the early days of the Revolutionary War. Since that time it has served in every war this nation has been involved in with courage and distinction winning an honored and deeply respected reputation as one of the world’s premier and elite fighting forces.
Every Marine knows the story of the Corps’ beginning in Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They were a small force intended to fight mostly as sharpshooters and assault forces on the ships of the small, newly formed Continental Navy.
Since those early days in our War of Independence, the Marines and the Navy have shared the weight of war together.
Marines went with the Navy to the shores of Tripoli in North Africa where thy defeated the Barbary Pirates who had pillaged European and American trading ships on the high seas of the Mediterranean for decades. Marines were instrumental in ending a British invasion near Baltimore, Maryland during the War of 1812. They marched with Zachary Taylor’s forces fighting at the “halls of Montezuma” during the Mexican War in the 1846-48. They fought at sea and on land in the Civil War.
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It was during WWI that they fought with such fierceness and determination against superior German forces in 1917 that they earned the lasting moniker, “Devil Dogs.” In WWII they were a major force in the long and bloody island hopping campaigns against the Japanese Imperial forces. They slogged ashore on one island after another in the Pacific Theater in some of the most costly fighting of that war.
In Korea, they fought at the Frozen Chosin Reservoir night after night against Chinese forces that were far superior in number.
In Vietnam, I had the privilege, as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, to serve with the Marines of Bravo Co. 3rd Recon, 3rd Marine Division at Khe Sanh where 6,000 of us withstood a 77 days siege by 40,000 of North Vietnam’s finest troops. Marines fought tooth and nail, street to street and house to house for almost a month to retake Hue City during the Tet Offensive of that same year, 1968.
Marines were one of the spears in the quick and decisive invasion of Iraq during Desert Storm and have been engaged heavily in both Iraq and Afghanistan since the 9/11.
The United States Marine Corps has a long and honored history in the annals of American history. The Veterans Site sends its birthday greetings to all United States Marines, current and past, on this year’s 243rd birthday, Nov. 10, 2018.
You are the epitome of your honorable motto: Semper Fidelis!
You have been and remain, The Few, The Proud, the Marines. OooRah!!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.