(WWTI) — On Wednesday, U.S. Marines across the globe are honoring over two centuries of service. November 10 marks the Marine Corps’ official birthday as it was first established on this day in 1775, by the Second Continental Congress.
Regarding the organization’s, birthday, it was first known as Marine Corps Day and was initially celebrated on July 11 from 1799 until 1921. This was when Major General Lejeune ordered to formalize the tradition and establish the official day to honor the birthday of the Marine Corps.
The Marines played a large role in the American Revolution after its creation but then were abolished following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The organization was then recreated on July 11, 1798, by U.S. Congress, which then directed that it be available for service under the Secretary of the Navy.
Now there are over 35 Marine Corps bases across the world, with a majority of them in the United States. Its structure is similar to the Army with teams, squadrons, platoons, and battalions. There are over 186,000 active Marines.
A typical ceremony on November 11 includes a guest of honor, a reading of Gen. Lejeune’s birthday message, a reading of the current Commandant’s message, recognition of the oldest and youngest Marine present, and a cake cutting.
For the 2021 celebration, this year’s animal message will be read by Marine Corps Commandant General David H. Berge and Marine Corps Sergeant Major Troy Black. The message will pay tribute to the men and women who joined after the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as address the next generation. A segment of his message can be read below:
“As we mark the 20th anniversary of those who fought the war on terror and are now retiring, we want them to know that we appreciate their courage, sacrifice, and the valor they showed during this conflict.
The next generation of Marines may operate differently and in different places than the Marines who wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor today. Yet they will join a long and proud heritage of Marine fighters who have never turned from a threat or an enemy. We will always remain most ready when our Nation is least ready because we must protect our shores and our citizens. And as the next evolution of warfighting becomes our reality, it will still be the Marines who defend this Nation.”