The United States Marines are a branch of service unto themselves. They have proven themselves in battle with determination and tenacity since the sea battles of the Revolutionary War to the present day war in the mountainous country of Afghanistan. In every conflict that America encountered, the Marines have bravely stood, fought, and many given their lives for our nation. When did this tradition start and how are these young men transformed into a special breed know as a United States Marine? It all started at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia in the colony of Pennsylvania. It was November 10, 1775 and Samuel Nichols set up shop to recruit a few good men. He came to the tavern with an edict from the Continental Congress: “Resolved, that two Battalions of Marines be raised… that they be enlisted and commissioned for and during the present war with Great Britain and colonies… be distinguished by names of the first and second battalions of American Marines.” So, now we know when it started – two hundred and forty-one years ago – yet once a Marine always a Marine. Did you know there are no ex-Marines – they are either on active duty, in the reserves, retired and/or a veteran. Their lives are forever governed by the values of the Corp: Honor, Courage and Commitment. Honor – requires each Marine to exemplify the ultimate standard… never sully the Corp. Courage – courage is honor in action… it is mental discipline, an adherence to higher standards. Commitment – total dedication to the Corps and Country… selfless determination, with a dedication to excellence… this commitment never dies. A young man enters the Marines and quickly learns that he is not just signing up for a tour of duty but for a life of dedication. Every Marine learns that he is a Rifleman. Why? Because every rifleman has to get close to their enemy to destroy them. Every Rifleman knows the “Riflemen Creed” (also known as My Rifle). Here are some statements taken from My Rifle: This is my rifle… this one is mine. It is my life… without me my rifle is useless, without my rifle, I am useless. My rifle and I are defenders of my country… so be it until victory is America’s and there is no enemy. This dedication to the Corp has not gone unnoticed throughout the world. The Marines have many nicknames, such as “Devil Dogs” (a name given to them by the WWI German soldiers for their fierce fighting methods); Leathernecks (which refers to their uniform during the Revolutionary War); and Jarheads (for their haircut). Here are a few of their famous mantras: A Few Good Men; No Man Left Behind; and Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. The tradition of the Marine Corp is steeped in history of honor, courage and commitment and it is all summed up in the 1883 Marine Corp motto Semper Fidelis – a Latin term for always faithful! Let us be thankful that the Corp is on watch over our country, and has been for the past 241 years.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.