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November 10, 2013

Since before the United States of America was a country, the Marine Corps has provided patriotic young men and, since 1918, women with the chance to fight for, and protect, our freedom, instilling them with the core values of honor, courage, and commitment along the way.  By refusing to be anything or accept anyone other than the best, the United States Marine Corps has established itself as America's elite fighting force.

Over the course of nearly two and a half centuries, the Marine Corps has become world-renowned for the bravery, determination, and selflessness displayed by those who have proudly called themselves "Marine" in some of the most infamous battles in our country's history. From Belleau Wood to Guadalcanal, from Iwo Jima to the Chosin Reservoir, from Khe Sanh and Hue City to Fallujah, the Marine Corps has shown time and again that it doesn't matter who the enemy is, how brutal the fighting is, or how slim the odds are--Marines persevere to get the job done, paying for it in blood, sweat, and tears. 

Today, November 10, marks the 238th birthday of the Marine Corps and tomorrow, November 11, is Veterans Day. From the opening shots of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord to the current war in Afghanistan, generations of heroic men and women have sacrificed their time, their energy, their comfort, and, in many cases, their lives to protect the freedom we as Americans value so dearly.

With that in mind, we at Marine Parents would like to extend a heartfelt "Thank You" to our men and women in uniform, past, present, and future.  And happy birthday Marines!

God bless and Semper Fi!


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Tracy Della Vecchia

Founder and Executive Director, Inc.
History of the Marine Corps' Birthday
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Marines were founded by Congressional decree at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  When the war ended eight years later in 1783, the Continental Marines were disestablished, along with the Continental Navy.  A decade and a half later, on July 11, 1798, the Marine Corps was reestablished when President John Adams signed the "Act for establishing and organizing a Marine Corps", and it was this date that would serve as the Marine Corps' birthday for more than a century.
In 1919, the Marine Corps established its "History Division", a branch of Headquarters Marine Corps whose primary task, according to their website, "is to research and write the Marine Corps' official history."  Two years later, in 1921, Major Edward North McClellan, director of the Marine Corps' then recently-founded History Division, proposed that the Marine Corps' original birthday, November 10, be declared a Marine Corps holiday celebrated throughout the corps.  Commandant John A. Lejeune agreed and on November 1, 1921, he issued Marine Corps Order 47, which stated:

The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

Major General
For the next three decades, Marine Corps birthday celebrations were informal, unregulated, and varied in the form they took.  Most celebrations included a dance--the first formal ball most likely occurred in 1925 (although records of the event's proceedings have since been lost)--and some also included mock battles, sporting events, pageants, and musical performances. In 1952, Commandant Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. formalized and standardized the Marine Corps' birthday celebration and provided an outline for the cake-cutting ceremony and other observances at the various Marine Corps Birthday Balls throughout the country. In the cake-cutting ceremony, the first piece of cake is given to the Guest of Honor. The second piece is given to the oldest Marine present, signifying the honor and respect accorded to experience and seniority. Upon receiving the piece of cake, the oldest Marine passes it to the youngest Marine present, signifying the passing of experience and knowledge from the old to the young of the Corps. The young Marine will then also receive the third piece of cake, further emphasizing the fact that the Corps cares for its young Marines before looking to its own needs.

The birthday celebration also includes a reading of Marine Corps Order 47 and a message from the current Commandant. Most celebrations also include a banquet and dancing, while some also include a pageant of current and historical Marine Corps uniforms.  Other traditions include the laying of a wreath at the grave of Samuel Nicholas, the first Commandant of the Marine Corps, in Philadelphia by a group of Marines at dawn to celebrate his role in founding the Corps, as well as a unit run. 




To watch the Commandant's 2013 birthday message, please click here...  


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Banner Photo--Lt. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee and guest of honor for the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit's Marine Corps birthday ball, cuts the birthday cake during the ceremony in Wilmington, N.C., Nov. 13, 2012. Gaskin served as commanding officer of the 22nd MEU from January 1999 to July 2000. (Photo by Sgt. Amber Blanchard), Inc., is a 501(c)(3) public charity., Inc., was founded in January 2003 in response to parents' needs to find information and to have "a place to connect and share" with one another during their Marine's career. Our free online services and connections have expanded to support and educate Marine moms and dads, spouses, families and friends. We've helped 400,000 Marine and recruit families during boot camp, training, active duty and deployments. We've shipped more than 34,000 care packages overseas to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent 60,000 prayers and letters to injured Marines and served thousands of meals to wounded heroes and their families on the East and West coasts. You've found "a place to connect and share."