been around for quite some time, 238 years to be exact. I've seen
just about everything.
How many people can say they were born
in a tavern and then almost immediately set sail for the Bahamas?
Not many. I'll never forget. Led by Capt. Samuel Nichols, we watched
the sun rise as we took the Redcoats by surprise. They never saw us
As a young Corps, I was really active and grew quickly. In 1812,
I had 578 active-duty Marines.
My roots can be traced back to
the British Royal Marines. I know, back in the day, our countries
didn't always get along and they did burn down almost every public
building in Washington, D.C., but the British Royal Marines chose
not to burn down the Marine Barracks, out of respect. We've come a
long way since then and I've greatly out grown my ancestor in size,
at nearly 25/1, but wounds healed, and today we work closely
together. They even come over here to train with my Marines in
exercises like Black Alligator.
I've been in every American
war since the day I was born. I guess they just want to keep me in
the starting line-up. I've mounted more than 300 assaults on foreign
shores from the tropics to the arctic.
When I'm at war, I do
not choose to retreat. It even shows in my emblem, designed by my
7th Commandant, Brig. Gen. Jacob Zeilin. My Eagle, Globe and Anchor
has been around since 1840 and stands for country, world-wide
service and naval tradition. If you notice, it does not bare a
shield because I prefer to be on the offensive.
definitely more of a dog-person. My Marines are often referred to
as, “Teufel-hunden,” or “Devil Dog.” During World War I, the Germans
gave them that name because we revere the hound so much that in
1922, Brig. Gen. Smedly Butler enlisted the first bulldog into my
ranks. To this day, we still maintain the tradition of enlisting
select “Devil Dogs.”
238 years may sound like a long time,
but when I think about it, it's just a drop in the bucket compared
to how long I intend to stick around. As long as they still want me,
I'll be here.
I wouldn't say I'm fashion savvy, but I make
sure my guys and gals go out looking sharp. It's actually a written
rule. It has nothing to do with the newest trend or egomania, it's
about pride. They have pride in the way they look, which is an
extension of their pride in the way they act and live as Marines.
When I throw a party, I go all out. What better way to celebrate
your birthday than with a formal ball? It's a time for everyone to
get out of their daily grind, have a good time and remember that
they all share something very special. My Marines work hard every
day of the year, they deserve to take part in nothing less than a
The other branches of the Department of
Defense are my family. They may do things a bit different, but I
think because we are family, we know we all fight for the same
cause. The Navy is my brother. When I was young, I used to serve as
his security guard and I was smaller than him too! Seriously though,
the Navy is always by my side when go to war, just as any good
brother should be.
Picking whom I am most proud of is like
picking a favorite child. You can't say which one has done better or
out-shined the rest. While some have achieved more accolades than
others, every last one made sacrifices to serve my mission
throughout the years, no matter what that mission has been. I would
say that my most important responsibility to these brave men and
women is to forever preserve the legacy of those who have given
their lives for my cause.
By USMC Cpl. Lauren Kurkimilis
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