Born in a bar on November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps has been earning its tab with a generous tip for nearly two and a half centuries now. Still the sharp point of America’s spear, Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit were among the first to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport when the nation called during the evacuation in Afghanistan this year, though they have been answering that clarion call for well over a decade now.

If there was a year to point out the value of the United States Marine Corps, 2021 makes our list. It’s been 246 years of dedicated service and sacrifice from those who earned the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. Don’t let the dress blues fool you, the Marines still seem most at home in the grit and hardship of service. 

Marines shoot the 870 shotgunMarines continue to stand ready all over the globe. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

“The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”
-Eleanor Roosevelt (Probably, but true regardless)

War has changed, to be sure. But the Marines have answered. From battling the Barbary pirates on the shores of Tripoli at the beginning of the 1800s to holding the line and then assaulting against the German advance at Belleau Wood in 1918, they have moved on to meet the nation’s needs, ranging from everything between urban combat to complex evacuations and counter-terrorism campaigns. Today, we honor the Marine spirit of Dan Daly and all those who guard their fellow warriors under the 11th Order.

Marines seem to have taken the line from the Marines’ Hymn, “We have fought in every clime and place; Where we could take a gun,” quite literally. Frankly, that aggressive ambition is appreciated. Few things have ever been so deservedly feared and loved as the United States Marine Corps. 

So, happy birthday, Marines. Here's health to you and to our Corps. Semper Fidelis. Cheers to 246 more years!

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