Today is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. On November 10, 1775, at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, members of the Continental Congress convened, presumably fortified with hot toddies and rye, to approve a resolution officially forming the Continental Marines.
Recognized today as perhaps the most effective fighting force on the planet, the Marine Corps has always focused on “force projection;” specifically, the projection of U.S. military power from Navy ships onto hostile landing areas. They are usually the leading fist of a flurry of powerful punches that the American military will unleash when ordered to protect the nation. Marines have spearheaded amphibious assaults and gained footholds for American troops throughout U.S. history. In addition the Marines can perform as elite combat troops far inland, as at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea for example. Here is a listing of many hard fought actions engaged in by the U.S. Marines:
First Barbary War (1801–1805), where they battled for Tripoli.
In the War of 1812 they held the center of Gen. Andrew Jackson’s defensive line at the Battle of New Orleans.
Mexican–American War (1846–1848), where they made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace and “the Halls of Montezuma.”
During the Spanish-American War in 1898 Marines stormed the beaches in the Philippines and Cuba where they captured Guantanamo Bay.
In WWI the Marines further consolidated their reputation as a ferocious fighting force at Belleau Wood (1918).
In World War II the Marines did much of the fighting in the Pacific War. The pivotal battles at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Cape Gloucester, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa will live in the hearts and minds of Americans forever.
The Korean War (1950 – 1953) saw the Marines distinguish themselves by holding the line at the Pusan Perimeter, in the lightning amphibious landing at Inchon, and during the desperate struggle in the bitter cold at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
In Iraq the Marines were given responsibility for Al Anbar Province where they battled door to door in Fallujah (2004).
And finally, in Afghanistan the Marines spearheaded the largely successful operation to wrest Marja (2010) from Taliban control.
So please take a moment to honor our Marine heroes, those who fell in battle and those who have made the long journey home, without them we would not be who we are today. Thank you Marines!