[May 10, 2015] Just last night I completed reading E.B. Sledge’s book With the Old Breed about his service as a United States Marine Corps private during World War II. In his personal memoir, Private Sledge writes about the devastation of war on his Marine comrades and on the local civilian population. He notes in particular how important it was that USMC values and small unit leadership were the glue that held his men together during so much violence and atrocity.
Today, the United States Marine Corps continues the tradition of being the defender of America and also the first to help others during human-made or natural disasters. They believe in being an elite and noble warrior, thus the focus on these values. The Marine motto is Semper Fidelis or Always Faithful. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission, to each other, to the Corps, and to the country … no matter what.1
Their core values are, therefore, one of the reasons the United States Marines Corps has remained an effective fighting force and so successful in defending the nation. Their values are:
“Honor, courage and commitment are the values that guide us—Semper Fidelis is the motto that bonds us. To guard our nation is to guard its principles, becoming not only an elite warrior, but also a noble one.” – USMC Website at www.marines.com
While we celebrated Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) a few days ago on May 8, the Pacific Theater of war would continue for another three months and claim the lives of many more Marines.2 I’m proud to say that I served alongside Marines in the war with Iraq and later with against its insurgents. Those that I met were exceptional representatives of the many stories we hear about them. I never doubted whether they would succeed and never doubted their dedication.
Those who serve and have served in the USMC have my hard-earned respect for being a defender of the United States against all its enemies.
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 For example, the Battle of Okinawa was the largest amphibious assault during WWII. The 82-day battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. Killed in this battle were 77,166 Japanese soldiers, between 42,000 and 150,000 local civilians, and 14,009 Allied troops. Read more about the battle here: http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-Okinawa