Slaying fire dragons since at least the 1990s and America’s enemies since 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps turned a grizzled but chiseled 247 years old today. For every Leatherneck past and present, thank you for your service and cheers to many more years for the United States Marine Corps.

With the big 247 now under the belt, we think it’s fitting to note that one of the first things Marines ever did was open a bar tab at Tun Tavern to prepare for war. Marines have spent every year since serving as the tip of America’s military spear.

And from the motivated looks of it, the Corps has no intentions of relinquishing its “first to fight” motto. Here’s a tiny peek at what the USMC has been up to this year – as Illustrated by cool photos from around the world – and we’ll close it out with the Corps’ vision – in video format – for the next generation of Devil Dogs. Enjoy!

Around the Marine Corps Today


In the air...
 

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jose S. GuerreroDeLeon
“An F-35B Lightning II with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California, conducts an aerial demonstration during the 2022 MCAS Air Show at MCAS Miramar, Sept. 24, 2022.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jose S. GuerreroDeLeon)
U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Mark Andries
OK, fine, in the air for now: “Marines with the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Battalion conduct freefall parachute training from a UH-1Y Venom helicopter in support of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force UNITAS LXIII.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Mark Andries)
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler Harmon
Anderson Air Force Base, Guam (June 14, 2022) “An F/A-18D Hornet aircraft with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing participates in a joint maritime strike to demonstrate fires and effects capabilities during exercise Valiant Shield 22.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler Harmon)


…on land...
 

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brandon Aultman
From Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, on Aug. 13, 2022. Note to self, the Marines are also serving Lava Dogs in Hawaii. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brandon Aultman)
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Taggart
“U.S. Marines with 3d Battalion, 2d Marines conduct live-fire drills during Exercise Shinka 22.1 at Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan, June 16, 2022.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Taggart)
“Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force hike to a training area prior to Exercise Cold Response 2022.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jacqueline C. Arre)
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Yvonna Guyette
Nothing quite like coming home: “Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit reunite with their families following a seven-month deployment.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Yvonna Guyette)


…and sea.
 

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Danny Gonzalez
“Marines with 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conduct a boat launch aboard USS New Orleans (LPD 18).” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Danny Gonzalez)
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Ramsammy
“Marines with 2d Reconnaissance Battalion conduct a dive during Exercise Caribbean Coastal Warrior.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Ramsammy)
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart
“Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and U.S. Navy Sailors conduct flight operations aboard the USS Tripoli.” (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart)
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Singley
“F-35C Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct flight operations of the U.S. Navy's USS Abraham Lincoln.” (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Singley)

 

Future of War


Keenly aware that the modern battlefield is changing, the Marine Corps has also just released a brand-new video detailing what it sees as its future. With more than enough evidence flooding the news cycle about high-tech drones and rockets, the Marines' new video is filled with advanced weapons, but it still envisions highly trained Leathernecks leading the way on the next battlefield.
 


If that doesn’t get you motivated, well, we’re not sure how to help you. 

While Marine riflemen remain at the tip of the spear, they’re now armed with advanced miniature drones, drone-killing weapons, and precision rockets. But perhaps just as notable, the Corps sees more than its classic mission of seizing enemy beaches on the horizon. 

In a nod to a line from "The Marines’ Hymn," “We have fought in ev’ry clime and place; Where we could take a gun,” it seems clear from the video the Marine Corps foresees Marines in snow-filled battlefields, natural disaster sites, and – yes – once again fighting on the open seas. Celebrate today Marines, we know we’ll need you tomorrow.

For those few people who will ever get the privileged to attend a Marine Corps Birthday Ball, buckle up. They can get a tad rowdy. For everyone else, don’t be shy about buying a round at the bar.

Keep slaying that dragon Marines, and happy birthday once again. Yut!

Cover photo: A U.S. Marine Corps recruit with Delta Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, low crawls during the Crucible at Camp Pendleton, California, Oct. 17, 2022. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anthony D. Pio)

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