TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The Marine Corps Hymn was adopted as the official hymn of the Marine Corps in 1929 during Gen. John Lejeune's tenure as the Corps' 13th Commandant. When The Marines' Hymn is played, Marines stand at attention as a gesture of respect, expressing reverence in their fellow Marines, their Corps, their country, their heritage, and their hymn.
From the halls of Montezuma
The Mexican-American War began in 1845. In September 1847, U.S. Marines and Army troops battled Mexican forces in Mexico City. It was during the Battle of Chapultepec when American forces captured Chapultepec Castle, a site known as the Halls of Montezuma.
To the shores of Tripoli
During the First Barbary War in 1805, Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon and eight other Marines led a band of mercenaries to conduct a surprise attack that began the Battle of Derna, on “the shores of Tripoli.” The battle was a major victory in the conflict.
We fight our country's battles
The Marine Corps' role is to be a fighting force always ready for crisis. As our nation's force of first responders, the Marine Corps is uniquely suited to meet today's and tomorrow's security challenges. Marine Expeditionary Units train rigorously prior to deployment, to serve as a forward-deployed, flexible, sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Forces capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations. Marines also maintain a global presence as U.S. Embassy security guards in 125 countries.
In the air, on land, and sea
The Marine Corps started as naval infantry, but has evolved over the centuries to serve as the nation's expeditionary fighting force, employing the Marine Air-Ground Task Force skilled in effectively combining ground and air components to defeat adversaries. In 1942, the 17th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Thomas Holcomb, changed, “On the land as on the sea,” to the current wording, to recognize the addition of aviation in the Marine Corps' arsenal with fighters like the Grumman F4F Wildcat and Chance Vought F4U Corsair.
First to fight for right and freedom
Marines are first to fight because they maintain a forward-deployed presence around the world, particularly in places where conflict has been known to arise. Even in peacetime, Marines uphold mission readiness by maintaining the 11th, 13th and 15th MEUs on the West Coast; the 22nd, 24th and 26th MEUs on the East Coast; and the 31st MEU based out of Okinawa, Japan.
And to keep our honor clean
Personal integrity, strong moral character and adherence to ethical principles define honor. Marines have been present in every American conflict to date. Notable Marines and units, such as Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, recipient of five Navy Crosses, and 5th and 6th Marine Regiments, known for their tenacity during the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I, remain revered by Americans and foreign militaries alike for their distinguished display of honor.
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marines
Marines are proud to be the nation's elite fighting force. The title of Marine is earned and never given and will stay with a Marine for the rest of their life. The Marine Corps is often seen as a brotherhood between all generations, past and present.
By USMC LCpl. Paul Martinez
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