From Tun Tavern to today, the U.S. Marine Corps has been the tip of the spear for America's armed forces and is turning 245 on Tuesday. 

On Nov. 10, 1775-- more than seven months before the Declaration of Independence was signed-- the Continental Congress in Philadelphia resolved to form two battalions of Marines. The first officer, commissioned in an order signed by John Hancock, was Quaker innkeeper Samuel Nichols who then proceeded to begin a recruitment drive at Philadelphia's Tun Tavern, a local brewery, and the Corps soon became a reality. 

After a baptism of fire in March 1776 in a raid on British-held Nassau in the Bahamas, an operation that seized vital gunpowder for the munitions-poor Continental Army, the Marines have kept going and have served around the globe day and night, never looking back. 

From the shores of Tripoli, where Marines fought Barbary pirates; to the German-held forest at Belleau Wood in France where the Kaiser's men nicknamed the fierce sea soldiers Teufel Hunden or Devil Dogs, to the battle-scarred volcanic slopes of Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jima, along the frozen Chosin Reservoir of Korea, block-by-block through Hue during the Tet Offensive, and the more recent Battle of Fallujah, the Marines have been there. 

 

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