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Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!



Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.

November 10, 1775 was the day that the Continental Marines, later renamed the United States Marine Corps, was established and each year on November 2, the United States celebrates United States Marine Corp Day.

The United States Marine Corps, a branch of the United States Armed Forces, is responsible for providing power projection from the sea using mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces.

The birth of the U.S. Marine Corps began as a way to augment naval forces in the Revolutionary War.  The recruiting headquarters was in the Tun Tavern on Water Street in Philadelphia, which is considered to be the birthplace of the Marines.

The Corps was abolished at the end of the Revolutionary War however, on July 11, 1798, Congress ordered the creation of the Corps, named it the United States Marine Corps (USMC ) and directed that it be available for service under the Secretary of the Navy.

The first recorded United States Marine Corps Day celebration took place in 1937 at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

The USMC shares many resources with the other branches of the United States military however, the Corps has sought to maintain its own identity with regards to mission, funding and assets while utilizing the support available from the larger military branches. The Marine Corps does have fewer installations than other branches however, many Army posts, Naval stations and Air Force bases have a Marine presence.


In his birthday greeting 70 years ago, General Alexander Vandegrift, our 18th Commandant noted that, “A Birthday is a fitting time to peer backward – and forward.” That year, Marines reflected on an extraordinary year in combat during their amphibious drive across the Pacific. Despite the challenges and the horrific conditions, Marines prevailed at Guam, Saipan, and Peleliu. On 10 November 1944, Marines looked back with pride on their accomplishment – confident in their ability to meet future challenges.

In 2004, 20,000 Marines deployed to Al Anbar Province, Iraq – many Marines celebrated the birthday in places like Fallujah, Ramadi, and Al Qaim while decisively engaged in combat. That year, Marines also responded to crisis in the Pacific following a tsunami which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. On 10 November 2004, Marines looked back with pride on their accomplishments – confident in their ability to meet future challenges.

As we celebrate our 239th birthday, Marines are in combat in Afghanistan. Since we last gathered to celebrate our Corps’ birthday, we also responded to crises in the Philippines, South Sudan, Libya, and Iraq.

Some things change. This year found us in different climes and places that our predecessors in 1944 and 2004. We have adapted our organization, training, and equipment to the ever-changing operating environment. Some things remain the same. Marines attacked this year’s challenges with the same courage, commitment, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and adaptability as their predecessors in Peleliu and Fallujah. For that reason, on 10 November 2014, we Marines can look back with pride on our accomplishments- confident in our ability to meet future challenges.

Thanks for who you are and what you do. Happy Birthday Marines.

Semper Fidelis,

J. F. Dunford, Jr.

General, U.S. Marine Corps

Commandant of the Marine Corps

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