Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Marine Corps, older than the country

The Marine Corps is celebrating 236 years today.

11/8/2011 By Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers
Headquarters Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos cuts the Marine Corps birthday cake during the cake cutting ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington Nov. 8. A sword is used to cut the cake to remind Marines that they are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword so that the nation may live in peace.
The founders of the United States of America made many decisions during the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence being known by most people. Now, the founding of the Marine Corps is not known by most people. It was during the American Revolution that a committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, to write a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. Approved on November 10, 1775, this resolution officially formed the Continental Marines.

In 1921 Gen. John A. Lejeune  issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921.  Gen. Lejeune's order summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps.  It further directed that the order be read to all Marines on 10 November of each year to honor the founding of the Marine Corps.  Thereafter, 10 November became a unique day for U.S. Marines throughout the world.
   Soon, some Marine commands began to not only honor the birthday, but celebrate it. 

The first "formal" Birthday Ball took place on Philadelphia in 1925.  Over the years the annual Birthday Ball grew and grew, taking on a life of its own.  In 1952 the Commandant, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances.  For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present.  The second piece goes to the youngest Marine.  Among the many such mandates is a solemn reading of the Commandant's birthday message to the Corps. Marine heritage

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