DOINews: Reclamation-Mid Pacific Region: The Marine Corps Celebrates Its 238th Birthday

Last edited 09/05/2019

Poster recognizing diversity in the Marine Corps

About five years ago, Michael Craggs, Satpal Kalsi and Ann Lubas-Williams, of the Regional Office's Program Coordination Office, decided to go to lunch to celebrate the Marine Corps' birthday. From that lunch of three, the group has grown to nearly 20 Marines from the Mid-Pacific Region and other Department of the Interior agencies. The focus of the lunch is to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday on Nov. 10. Read the Commandant's 2013 Marine Corps Birthday Message.

The Region's Marines ranks range from corporal to lieutenant colonel. We connect to share the esprit de corps that all of us lived and breathed during our tours of duty. Our gatherings are spirited and uplifting and truly reflect the unity and pride Marines have experienced under the motto “Semper Fidelis,” which means “Always Faithful.”

A recent quote says it like this: “A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine.” Gen. James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

WW II Smokey Drill Instructor's Hat
World War II "Smokey" drill instructor's hat

The “Smokey” shown at left represents the Marine drill instructor. It becomes a symbol that is seared into the hearts and minds of every Marine, good, bad or indifferent. There is no other way to become a Marine except by walking this life-changing journey.

The U.S. Marine Corps was born on Nov. 10, 1775, when Congress commissioned Robert Mullan, the proprietor of Tun Tavern, located on Philadelphia's historic waterfront, to raise the first two battalions of Marines under the leadership of Samuel Nicholas, the first appointed commandant of the Continental Marines. The Marines have been the first branch of the Armed Forces to serve in every war since that day and have mounted more than 300 assaults on foreign shores, from the arctic to the tropics. The initial missions were to conduct ship-to-ship fighting, provide shipboard security and discipline enforcement, and to assist in landing forces.

Marines have earned their extraordinary reputation and are honored to have served. The first verse of The Marines Hymn says it all. “From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country's battles In the air, on land, and sea; First to fight for right and freedom And to keep our honor clean: We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marine.”

The pride of being a Marine allows us to gather to celebrate the Marine Corps' birthday this year as we turn 238. We continue the established traditions and celebrate the title of being a United States Marine. Happy Birthday and Semper Fidelis!

With humble respect for all veterans this coming Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, we salute you. It is an honor to be a veteran and to be recognized for your service to your country. Veterans are a brotherhood consisting of all members of America's Armed Forces; “the worlds' greatest military” is a title that has been earned. To each veteran: “Thank You” for your contributions to freedom for all. Happy Veterans Day.

By: Louis Moore, Public Affairs Specialist, Mid-Pacific Region, Reclamation

Nov. 8. 2013

This story appears on the Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region's website and as a PDF.

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