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Marine Corps Birthday Message

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November 9, 2016
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November 10th, 2016 marks the 241st Marine Corps birthday. For active duty and reserve Marines, along with many Marine Corps veterans, that means dressing up in your blues or your alphas, getting together with a bunch of other fellow Belleau Woodsmen, and getting absolutely wasted at the Marine Corps Ball.[caption id="attachment_8786" align="aligncenter" width="800"]

marine corps birthday

Just a bunch of Marines, doing Marine stuff, at the Marine Corps ball.[/caption]The ball is a tradition that dates back to 1921, when General John A. Lejeune, then the Commandant of the Marine Corps, issued a decree stating that the birthday of the Marine Corps would officially be celebrated as 10 November 1775, the date that Captain Samuel Nicholas raised the first company of Marines at Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.He also issued the very first Marine Corps birthday message, which is now an annual event for the Commandant. Every year it is read to devil dogs, no matter where they are in the world:

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 167 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.John LejeuneLieutenant GeneralU.S. Marine Corps

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marine corps birthday

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cuts the Marine Corps birthday cake during the cake cutting ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington. A sword is used to cut the cake to remind Marines that they are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword so that the nation may live in peace. Source: HQMC[/caption]


Marine Corps Birthday traditions date to 1921

The Marine Corps ball didn’t start becoming a thing until around 1925, when the first one was celebrated. The cake cutting and other ceremonies became formalized in the Marine Drill Manual in 1956, adding to the deep traditions that the Marine Corps already celebrated.The cake-cutting ceremony is a tradition in which the first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present, who then hands the piece off to the youngest Marine in the room. This symbolizes older, experienced Marines passing their expertise on to younger generations.Check out the 2016 Marine Corps Birthday message here:https://youtu.be/dOSuslaKKHY

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