[November 10, 2020] My Army buddies and I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the most incredible people who have ever lived, members of our nation’s military services. One group that we especially liked are called U.S. Marines. Hooah! Today is the 245th birthday of the founding of the Marine Corps.
My wife, a real, down-to-earth army wife, asked me to write in this article that Marines are some of the most patriotic, honorable, and kick-butt folks she has ever encountered. And don’t tell my Army buddies she said that. We are a little envious of the Corps’ reputation and history.
The U.S. Marines had a promising start. They were formed on November 10, 1775, eight months before the U.S. Declaration of Independence. First led by Commandant Samuel Nicholas, this branch of the burgeoning Continental nation, the Marines were to oversee a mission of intercepting ammunition cargo from Britain. Its core purpose was to provide security and support for the recently formed Continental Navy.
Marine friends of mine are quick to point out that being a “security and support” force for the U.S. Navy is only part of what they do. To prove this point, they note the USMC’s birthday predates the U.S. Navy’s birthday. But that is not the real story. The Navy was created before the Marines, and it was due to the Navy’s leadership failing to adopt a firm birthdate until 1972. Of course, this is a sticking point that Army vets are happy to exploit.
Core values of the Marine Corps are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. They are “the defender of America” and the first to help when action is needed immediately. Marines are the elite of America’s military forces, they are noble warriors, and they are held in high distinction by our citizens.
Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, PA, is regarded as the birthplace of the Corps. It is the location of the first Marines to enlist under Commandant Nicholas. When the U.S. Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the Continental Navy was disestablished, and with it, the Continental Marines. The Corps was re-established on 11 July 1798, when the act for establishing and organizing a Marine corps was signed by President John Adams.1
Today, we honor the history, values, and memory of our Marine heroes who have served and rekindle the bond that unites generations of Marines. The day celebrates traditions of the Marine Corps with profound respect, paying tribute to the heritage of this distinguished service.