If you know any Marines, you almost certainly already know that today is the Marine Corps’ 245th birthday. Somehow, Marines have managed to turn the anniversary of their birth into a full-fledged holiday in a way no other branch has matched. The internet is rife with memes about Marines announcing the approach of this special day, and with good reason. We Marines really don’t shut up about it.
Marines are so eager to celebrate our birth, our branch, and our brothers and sisters in arms for the very same reasons you so often hear the phrase, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” The Marine Corps’ obsessive approach to regulation, our culture of self-policing and correcting our peers, and our aggressive pursuit of mission accomplishment isn’t just a way of life while you’re in uniform. Serving in the Marine Corps shifts how we think of ourselves, our peers, and the challenges before us.
From the outside looking in, it may seem like Marines believe themselves to be invincible… but I respectfully disagree. Marines know they aren’t invincible. We hurt, we struggle, we get knocked down, and we get back up. What’s so special about Marines isn’t that we believe we’re bullet proof… It’s that we know we aren’t. Marines don’t believe they can’t get hurt; they just believe some things are important enough to hurt for.
Which brings us to this year’s Marine Corps birthday message. This eight-minute video offers a crash course in what makes a Marine a Marine, and just may bring a tear to your eye. Watch it below: