Every November, social media gets flooded with Marines proclaiming the USMC birthday season has arrived. To the contrary, June 14th (the Army’s birthday) barely registers on many Soldiers' radars. This isn’t the case for everyone obviously, but we want to know why that is. No one can say for certain, but we talked to a lot of Soldiers, and have a few guesses:
The Marine Corps is a cult
Hearing Marines talk about their favorite memories from service is mind-blowing. We basically just recall the most messed up scenarios and chuckle with nostalgia while our family, friends, and therapist listen in horror. Why do Marines go so nuts for the Marine Corps birthday? Two words: Stockholm syndrome.
The Army Birthday is for higher-ups
Many Soldiers that I have asked about this matter simply don’t have an answer. However, quite a few have said that any Army birthday related activities are usually “voluntold” type events. Fun is illegal and everyone seems to be dragging their feet. All while lamenting over how much money they had to spend on their uniform prep. Meanwhile, all the higher ranked soldiers are off in a corner, chuckling over dad jokes and smoking cigars that cost more than many of the PFCs can even afford to spend that night on drinks. From what I’ve been told, the vibe feels more like when your parents take you to your least favorite relative’s house. Now, I have partied at an Army ball, and had lots of fun. To be fair, the Soldier who invited me was super funny and she was really hot. So maybe I’m just a little biased.
The Army is too big
According to the Army, only the infantry’s birthday is really June 14th. That’s right, congress authorized different branches of the Army to have their own birthdays. And just like all the ropes, devices and flair the Army has on their dress uniform, it’s just too damn much. There are 29 branch birthdays in the Army! The most recent being formed on September 1st, 2014, for the Cyber branch. If you include the overall birthday, and similar parallels in the National Guard, and reserves, that makes dozens of birthdays that are hard to celebrate because units are often mixed with different branches to form a larger unit.
They don’t pay me enough to care
A few Soldiers I spoke to were very blunt, saying they had more important matters to concern themselves with other than the pomp and circumstance of yet another hooah event they didn’t care about. It’s hard to be excited about being a Soldier when you wake up in moldy barracks, to 500 missed calls and texts because a deadline was moved without anyone telling you. Oh, by the way your leave is denied.
What can be done?
Maybe nothing needs to change, but it would be nice if the Army got the next day off. Which is often the case with the Marine Corps birthday being the day before a federal holiday, Veterans Day. Also, maybe leaders could be a little more mindful of the strain being placed on troops during that time. Make it less about work, and more about celebrating.
Regardless of the priority you may place on the day, we’ll raise a glass and toast our big brother service. Don’t worry, the Marines party hard enough for both our birthdays.