Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today In History: Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs!

On this day in 1775, in Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the very first U.S. Marine made his mark on the dotted line, laid the pen down, turned and looked behind him at the second guy in line and said
"Things were different in the old Corps."
Happy birthday, USMC!

EDITED TO ADD:

Hat tip to Caleb for finding this video, which you should really, really, really not watch if hilariously gratuitous F-bombs will make you or anybody else in the room cry, but which captures the deep, sensitive inner soul of the Shock Trooper Devil Dog Blood-Sucking War Machines of the USMC perfectly.


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24 comments:

Lewis said...

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

Old Corps? Well, not so old, but old enough. I remember when they made us start putting name tapes on our cammies, I thought it was a sign of the end times right there. What's next, I thought, unit patches?

Bram said...

Uh Rah! Happy Birthday Brothers!

Lewis - the real First Division Old Corps Vets of Guadalcanal got to wear that unit patch for the rest of WWII. I put on as a combat patch when I went back to the National Guard.

GunRights4US said...

Thanks!

USMC 78 - 85

Oooo Rah

Anonymous said...

To all my brothers and sisters, I wish a sincere Happy Birthday. Y'all don't look a day over 235!

Semper Fidelis
Leatherneck

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Jarheads everywhere, Happy Birthday USMC.

Rob J AlphaCo,4th/47th,9thInfDiv, USArmy

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

It's a shame it's gonna be one of their last. I'd get rid of the Army before getting rid of the Corps, personally.

Bubblehead Les. said...

T-Bolt, the Corps ain't going away. Who would Guard the Gates at the Navy Base?

Sempi Fi, Jarheads Everywhere.

Woodman said...

NJT,

That would be a great idea if you didn't need anything the Marines usually borrow from the Army. Like masses of infantry, or tanks, or large numbers of anything.

And if you are going to give those things to the "New" Corps, then what's the point of closing down the Army instead of the Marines?

Marines have a job and a mission that they do well. So do the other four armed services. Even though the Army has more ships than the Navy, and the Navy has more planes than the Air Force.

I played Opfor against Marines several times. Once in a beach assault, impressive to watch them actually walk up the beach in line and then charge, while Miles gear is going off all over the battlefield. The Army won't do that, Marines do. But there are plenty of things the Marines can't do either.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'm just saying, when the DoD is cut so far back to only have 40,000 infantrymen so that the gov't might send Social Security check to my dad to pay for his yacht club dues, it might as well have Marines as Army as those infantrymen. It'll probably end up as a coin flip.

Don said...

On the Adjutant's (CWO-4) wall above the desk:

A drawing of a wooden sheild, crossed halberd and broadsword, and a knight's helmet with the caption "If your deuce gear doesn't look like this, don't talk about the Old Corps"

Semper Fi!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that being elite requires you to have someplace to send your castoffs. The Constitution requires a navy but says NO to a standing army. What's fun is arguing whether or not federal, state, and local leos constitute 'a standing army'.
Happy Birthday Marines.

Anonymous said...

When my father in law,(SGTMAJ 1942-1976)talks about the old Corps he means China Marines or those who served in France like my Grandfather F.X. Byrne.

Semper Fi Ed!

Gerry

Lewis said...

Random ramblings . . . .

First off, I served in peacetime, and I'm no hero. I did my job, I went where they sent me, I did what they told me. Hell, as a crypto linguist (2675 FTW!) I probably barely even qualify as a Marine.

With that said, I'd never really joined a team before, and I joined the team. If I got rid of all my kilts but one, it would be my "gang colors" kilt, in the Leatherneck tartan. (Sixteen ounce worsted wool, bitches, Scottish, hand sewn, four yard, box pleated.)

A lot of my foreign policy thinking is informed by a quasi-Bismarckian thought: is it worth the bones of a single Devil Dog?

I've never met a Marine who hit the beach at the 'canal, but I had a three hour conversation in California with a guy who was in the second wave wading ashore at Tarawa. I have no words to express what that must have taken. Esprit d'Corps covers a lot, and the Doors' "Push on through to the other side." I was 2d SRIG, but that's at least affiliated with 2MarDiv. "Follow Me," indeed.

There is a ton of BS associated with the Corps, but there's some really good shit too. I tried to take the unimportant stuff with a sense of humor (really, spending four hours getting one pair of skivvie shorts ready for a wall locker?) while taking the serious stuff seriously.

Random boot camp story. I'd been at the Pork Chop Platoon after first phase. (You really can lose twenty pounds in twenty days!) Then I ended up at MRP (Medical Rehabilitation Platoon) with a stress fracture of the right tibia. One day I was hobbling my crippled ass back to the barracks on crutches, and a couple of drill instructors, whose platoon was in a class learning to kill people with their pinkies or suchlike, called me over. They wanted to know the usual things.

"What's wrong with your crippled ass? How long you been here? What do you want to do in my beloved Corps? Where you from?"

The "Where you from?" set up one of my little moments. See, from Jack Webb in "The DI" to R. Lee Ermey in "Full Metal Jacket," DIs get a full download on history and tradition, a whole database going on there.

So this unit responded, "The recruit is from Texas, sir," knowing in all likelihood what the follow-on was going to be.

"Texas, eh? Ain't nothing from Texas but steers and queers, boy, and I don't see no horns on you."

"Sir, this recruit had his horns surgically removed when he was much younger. Sir, the recruit now regrets his decision, as it causes him to be mistaken for a queer."

(NTTAWWT.)

The gravest sin for a drill instructor is not beating the shit out of a recruit. The gravest sin for a drill instructor is not taking his recruits for a night march, not all of whom return from same. The gravest sin for a drill instructor is losing his bearing when a recruit can see.

The two DIs looked at each other. The shorter one tilted his head down, so his Smokey covered his eyes, and said, "Get your crippled ass away from me."

This recruit responded, "Get this recruit's crippled ass away from the drill instructor, AYE, SIR."

MOTs (Members of the Tribe) will understand.

Boat Guy said...

Lewis,good one!
MOT. 1973-1979. 2111/0846.
BTW Folks were STILL talking to me about the "Parris Island Death March" when I enlisted in 73, even though it occured in 1956.

Drang said...

Happy Birthday, Jarheads. A rerun: The Cluemeter: Semper Fi, and all that...

CTone said...

In the Old Corps, we had that crappy web belt with shiny brass buckle left over from those days when it was still tactical to have a white skivy shirt. How the concept of that started on a combat utility uniform is anybody's guess.

Looks like they're doing better in the uniform department now though; although the Marines in my office now gripe about how it sucks that Marines don't have to shine their boots or iron their utilities anymore. I guess you can't please anyone.

Happy Birthday, Marines!

YUUUUUUUUTTTT!!!

Lewis said...

CTone:

See Tam's original post. First Marine turns to second Marine, "Let me tell you how it was in the Old Corps." Lotta truth, right there.

Anonymous said...

Lewis said...
Random ramblings . . . .

First off, I served in peacetime, and I'm no hero. I did my job, I went where they sent me, I did what they told me. Hell, as a crypto linguist (2675 FTW!) I probably barely even qualify as a Marine.

Lewis, anyone that takes the oath is a hero in my book. That applies to the men and women that served in all our Armed Forces. They are willing to place themselves in harms way if needed -- and ALL Marines are first and foremost -- riflemen. I served in the Corps from '59 to '65. Took a little sea cruise to Cuba as a field radio operator with the 11th Marines, 1st MARDIV. The demise of the Corps has been rumored since after WWII and they are still hitting the beaches, fast roping down from helicopters and providing close air support for their brothers on the ground. As Admiral Chester W. Nimitz said “the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years." It would take an act of congress to disband the Corps and as stupid as some of our congressmen are, I don’t think they would risk the aftermath of that action. SEMPER FI MARINES ! ! ! !

Robert Fowler said...

My grandson (third generation Marine) Just set the new range record at Edson with a score of 347 out of 350. Think I'm not proud?
I guess I taught him well.

Robert Fowler said...

You have to love a branch of service that was started in a bar. Semper Fi USMC, defending America since 1775.

Justthisguy said...

Some Marine General, of all people, famously said "The United States might not _need_ the Marine Corps, but it definintely _wants_ the Marine Corps."

Yes. Yes we do. Keep it up, guys.

Anonymous said...

Happy second birthday Jarheads.

(First birthday, celebrated through WWI was July 1834, when Marine Corps got authorized their regulations, and became thereby a permanent service. Before that happy day, Marines used Naval regulations afloat, and Army regulations ashore. After WWII, Commandant changed the birthday to align with Armistice Day, now recognized as Veterans day.)

Justthisguy said...

Dang! I can't find my CD with "Semper Fidelis" on it! I did find the one with "Fairest of the Fair." I played it in honor of Our Tam. She really is quite pale, y'know.

See, there really is a Sousa march for every occasion!

Larry said...

That video was high-larious.