Saturday, November 10, 2012
Marine Corps Birthday
Seal of the United States Marine Corps.
Today, in 1775, the United States Marine Corps came into existence when Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That makes the United States Marine Corps 237 years old today. That alone makes this a date worthy of note.
Marines, from the dawn of civilization, have constituted an essential element of those military actions upon the sea -- Marines are, as it were, the infantry of the sea. These would be troops trained for duties such as shipboard security, boarding of other ships, or even amphibious landings. Certainly, too, the Marines have become associated more recently with embassy defense and specialized overseas deployment.
US Marines at the Navy Yard, Washington, DC in 1864AD.
For many decades, the United States Marine Corps did its duty, being involved from the shores of Tripoli with the operations against the Barbary Pirates to the halls of Montezuma with their participation in the Mexican-American War. Even in the US Civil War, the Marine Corps saw combat, most notably at the First Battle of Manassas. [The Confederate Marines are worthy of a post some day, as well.]
The Brigade of American Marines at Belleau Wood.
The First World War, with the role of the Marines, the "Devil Dogs" as the Germans dubbed them, at the Battle of Belleau Wood marked a new page in the history of the Corps. They would occupy an increasingly important role that meant that, even if fighting alongside the US Army, the Marines demanded respect.
The American Flag flying over Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.
Of course, it was the Second World War, with the extensive operations in the Pacific Theatre that assure the Marine Corps immortality in the annals of military history. Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Manila, Iwo Jima, Okinawa...the list of significant engagements where the Marines proved the decisive element.
Since that time, with their contribution in Korea, Vietnam, and practically everywhere else the United States has become engaged (Iraq and Afghanistan, more recently, and most notably), the Marine Corps has show itself to be a worthy "point of the spear" and elite military force. To this day, the Marines remain a part of the Department of the Navy, and their terminology, and even name, remind us of their origins. Today, "the few, the proud," number about 200,000.
So, on this 10 November 2012, let us toast to the United States Marine Corps. May she remain true to her proud traditions, and may the Republic for which she services remain worthy of her!
For what its worth, here is a link to the webpage of the US Marine Corps: http://www.marines.com/
More specifically, here is a timeline of the history of the USMC: http://www.marines.com/history-heritage/timeline?articleId=TIMELINE_FOUNDING?nav=LP1