A special historical supplement to
Nov. 10 1775 - Nov. 10, 2011
We Understand Excellence, Commitment, Tradition.
Happy Birthday, Marine Corps. Semper Fi. .com 2 special edition | Celebrating usmc 236th birthday
or ten years now, our Corps has been engaged in continuous combat operations against those who threaten the security of America and our allies. We turned the tide in the Anbar province of Iraq and continue to see success today in southwest Afghanistan. While it has come at a cost … we have much to be proud of. This past year in operations around the world including humanitarian disaster relief, counterpiracy, theater security cooperation, special operations, counter-insurgency and many more, you continued to solidify our place as America’s expeditionary force in readiness. Since the Continental Congress created two battalions of Marines 236 years ago, our legacy as an ever-ready, ever-capable, victory-producing organization remains intact. Our rich heritage of selfless service and fidelity to Nation and to one another lives on in all who currently wear the eagle, globe and anchor—those who have answered the clarion call to duty with remarkable courage, dedication and unshakable resolve that Marines are so well known for. To all Marines—past and present—and especially to our families … I extend my deep gratitude for all you have done and all you continue to do. As we celebrate our 236th Birthday, let us look forward to future challenges—whatever they may be—and reaffirm our pledge to be America’s premier crisis response force; to be the first to fight ... always ready for the toughest and most challenging assignments. Happy Birthday, Marines, and Semper Fidelis! James F. Amos, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant Of The Marine Corps
The Globe 1122 Henderson Dr., Jacksonville, N.C. 28540 Phone: 347-9624 fax: 347-9628
War on Terror
Publisher James M. Connors Design manager Hillary Bratton BUSINESS MANAGER Rachel Picard
Lessons learned from a decade of war
SALES REPRESENTATIVES Bobby Stone Emily Kelley Pauline Chan-Wasicek Teresa Moore editorial staff Ena Sellers Amy Binkley Sarah Anderson Jessie Heath
70th anniversary highlights importance of Marine Corps
6 Marine Corps Mascot
14 The Medal of Honor
24 Military order of the Purple Heart
8 The mameluke sword
18 Mess Night fosters Camaraderie
26 Service Flags of the Marine corps
Celebrating a long line of loyalty
9 Historical evolution of dress blues uniform 12 Female Marines
Combining combat, compassion
13 Marine Corps Ball Traditions Unwavering through time
20 Golden Silence
27 Service Medals of the Marine corps
28 Birthday balls for the spouses of deployed marines
22 Physically Fit
29 Honoring the 21-gun salute
Discipline defined by Silent Drill Platoon Still stands as sign of respect Boot camp takes recruits from couch potato to American hero
30 Parade Precedence
disclaimer The special birthday edition is published by Landmark Military Newspapers of N.C., a private enterprise not connected with the DoD or the U.S. Marine Corps. The appearance of advertising in this publication does not constitute endorsement of these products or services by the DoD, the U.S. Marine Corps, or Landmark Military Newspapers of N.C. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of Landmark Military Newspapers of N.C. For distribution and advertising inquiries, call 347-9624.
Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 3
The Eagle, Globe and Anchor T
he history of the Marine Corps emblem is a story related to the history of the Corps itself. The emblem of today traces its roots to the designs and ornaments of early Continental Marines as well as British Royal Marines. The emblem took its present form in 1868. Before that time many devices, ornaments and distinguishing marks followed one another as official marks of the Corps.
In 1776, the device consisted of a “foul anchor” of silver or pewter. The foul anchor still forms a part of the emblem today. Changes were made in 1798, 1821 and 1824. In 1834, it was prescribed that a brass eagle be worn on the hat, the eagle to measure 3 ½ inches from wingtip to wingtip. The large “living” emblem (right) is composed of hundreds of Marines. The photo was taken aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 1919. During the early years, numerous distinguishing marks were prescribed, including black cockades, scarlet plumes, and yellow bands and tassels. In 1859, the origin of the present color scheme for the officers’ dress uniform ornaments appeared on an elaborate device of solid white
metal and yellow metal. The design included a U.S. shield, half wreath, a bugle and the letter M. In 1868, Brig. Gen. Jacob Zeilin, the seventh commandant of the Marine Corps appointed a board “to decide and report upon the various devices of cap ornaments of the Marine Corps.” On Nov. 13, 1868, the board turned in its report. It was approved Nov. 19, 1868. The emblem recommended by this board consists of a globe (showing the Western Hemisphere) intersected by a foul anchor, and surmounted by a spread eagle. On the emblem itself, the device is topped by a ribbon inscribed with the Latin motto “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful). The uniform ornaments omit the motto ribbon. The general design of the emblem was probably derived from the British Royal Marines’ “Globe and Laurel.” The globe on the U.S. Marine emblem signifies service in any part of the world. The eagle also indirectly signifies service worldwide, although this may not have been the intention of the designers in 1868. The eagle they selected for the Marine emblem is a crested eagle, a type found all over the world. The eagle pictured on the great seal and the currency of the United States, on the other hand, is the bald eagle,
strictly a North American variety. The anchor, whose origin dates back to the founding of the Marine Corps in 1775, indicates the amphibious nature of Marines’ duties. On June 22, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order, which approved the design of an official seal for the United States Marine Corps. The new seal had been designed at the request of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. The new seal consisted of the traditional Marine Corps emblem in bronze; however, an American bald eagle replaced the crested eagle depicted on the 1868 emblem. It is depicted with wings displayed, standing upon the western hemisphere of the terrestrial globe, holding in his beak a scroll inscribed with the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis” with the hemisphere superimposed on a foul anchor. The seal is displayed on a scarlet background encircled with a Navy blue band edged in a gold rope rim and inscribed “Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps” in gold letters. Coincident with the approval of this seal by the President, the emblem centered on the seal was adopted in 1955 as the official Marine Corps emblem.
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irthdays regardless of race, creed or nationality, are something that every person around the world has in common. But for some, for the few and proud, the opportunity to celebrate this special occasion comes not once, but twice a year. Today is a day for Marines across the globe to take a look back at what millions before them have accomplished over the past 235 years. For the Marines of Camp Lejeune, N.C., it is a day to look back at how their duty station came into existence. Though known by the moniker of “First to Fight,” Marines were by no means the first to set foot in what is now Onslow County. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were nomadic hunters and gatherers who migrated here between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. Modern European contact with the area most likely came in 1524 when Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian navigator, stumbled upon the region during an exploratory voyage. Most of the early settlers operated small plantations, which focused on raising corn and livestock. In 1739, the county was officially named for Sir Arthur Onslow, the speaker of the British House of Commons from 1728 to 1761. The city of Jacksonville, Onslow’s only incorporat-
ed town before the Civil War, evolved at the site of the county courthouse on the New River at Wantland’s Ferry. It was officially named in 1842 for Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States and a native of North Carolina. As Onslow entered the 20th century, it was still very much a rural county. Throughout the years, its economy remained firmly based on the bounty of nature, emphasizing agriculture, fishing, logging and other related enterprises. Suddenly, Sept. 1, 1939, World War II erupted in Europe. Though the populace didn’t know it at the time, the emergence of this global conflict would bring about immediate and irreversible change to the area with the establishment of several military installations. At the beginning of the war, a huge mobilization effort was underway in case the need to enter the fray at a moment’s notice arose. With Parris Island, S.C. and Quantico, Va., quickly becoming overcrowded, the need for one large Marine Corps base on the East Coast that could serve as an operational staging area and training center became increasingly vital. In the summer of 1940, Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb, then Marine Corps commandant, ordered Maj. John C. McQueen to find a training center. Within a month, McQueen and his
pilot, Capt. Verne McCaul, set off on an aerial survey that covered the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Norfolk, Va., to Corpus Christi, Texas. As they circled over the Onslow County coast, they saw below them the only remaining beach on the East Coast, where, it was determined, two divisions could be landed side by side and move inland. It was an ideal training area for maneuvering large formations, firing artillery and major facility construction. Because of the predominantly underdeveloped and under-populated nature of the area, the land was both available and inexpensive. The area also met most of the technical site selection criteria es-
tablished by the Corps. It had access to deep-water ports and was an area with minimal human habitation that was free of interference from aircraft, industry and roads. On Dec. 30, 1940, secretary of the Navy Frank Knox approved the site selection for the East Coast divisional training center at New River. The geography, topography, oceanfront, climate and isolation of Onslow made the county’s coast a great location for a Marine Corps Base. Marine Corps Barracks, New River was established in May 1941. In
continues on 25
Since November 10, 1775 you have answered our nation’s every call...
We Honor Your Service. Happy Birthday marines!
Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 5
6 special edition | Celebrating usmc 236th birthday
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The Mameluke Sword slices piece of Marine Corps tradition L
ieutenant Presley O’Bannon led the Marines’ first battle on foreign soil in April 1805.
Presley and his Marines relentlessly marched across 600 miles of the Libyan Desert to storm the fortified Tripolitan city of Derna and rescue the kidnapped crew of the USS Philadelphia. The victory helped Prince Hamet Bey reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli.
8 special edition | Celebrating usmc 236th birthday
In gratitude, Bey presented his Mameluke Sword to O’Bannon. This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825 and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by United States armed forces today. The Battle of Derna is notably recalled in the opening verse of the Marines’ Hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.”
Historical evolution of
Dress blues uniform M
arines are known by their distinctive dress blue uniform, which has origins dating back to the American Revolution. In 1776, Marines wore green jackets featuring a high leather collar to protect against closecombat attacks, but in 1798, the jacket changed to blue to represent the Corps’ naval tradition. In 1841, Marines began wearing a dark blue jacket and light blue trousers. The high collar remains intact on today’s uniform and is also preserved by the nickname “Leatherneck.” The dress blue uniform worn by noncommissioned officers, staff noncommissioned officers and officers feature the scarlet “blood stripe” down each trouser leg. Originally the blood stripe honored those Marines who died in the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican War in 1847. Today, the blood stripe honors the memory of all our fallen comrades. Dress blues are worn for many events, including ceremonies with foreign officials, visits with U.S. civil officials and formal social functions within an official capacity. Because it embodies Marine Corps history, rigorous standards apply to wearing this uniform and every Marine upholds those standards with pride.
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Pearl Harbor 70th anniversary highlights importance of Marine Corps
story by amy binkley • courtesy photos
ords have power. Throughout history, they have inspired, encouraged and cemented their place in the hearts and minds of generations. Americans were introduced to the word and meaning of infamy when the country was forced into war after the unprecedented and unprovoked attack on the calm waters of Pearl Harbor 70 years ago. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation in a speech that resounded around the globe. “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” he said. Marines and sailors aboard ships like USS Arizona, Utah and West Virginia were awakened by blasts, screams and the hurried dispatch over intercoms declaring the mes-
sage, “This is not a drill.” Though initially taken by surprise, service members were quick to fight back, manning machine guns and other weapons against the onslaught of enemy fire. Two hours later, Battleship Row lay decimated. World War II had already been raging across the seas for two years, but the U.S. had shied away from joining the fight, with government leaders focusing on improving conditions within the states. However, when Japan awakened the “sleeping giant,” killing more than 2,000 American service members and injuring 1,000 more, there was no turning a blind eye. Now, decades later, Americans look back on the attack that preceded major Marineled battles in the Pacific like Iwo Jima, Tarawa and Okinawa, not only to remember but to learn the importance of the nation’s fighting men and women. President George H.W. Bush, who joined the Navy soon after the attacks, remembered the nation’s response at the 50th anniversary
10 special edition | Celebrating usmc 236th birthday
e seen ing ships can b acks rn u b e th m o e barr Smoke fr Harbor Marin . rl a e P e th from cks in 1941 during the atta
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Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 11
Female Marines Combining combat, compassion
ree a man to fight! This was the call for women to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve during two world wars. Although 305 women served in the Marine Corps Reserve during World War I, all were separated from service by June 30, 1919, after the war ended. It wasn’t until Feb. 13, 1943, that Gen. Thomas Holcomb, the 17th Commandant of the Marine Corps, announced the formation of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. In 1917, countless young men volunteered for the armed forces, and for the first time in U.S. history, the labor potential of women became important. Pioneers like Pvt. Opha Mae Johnson, the first woman to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve Aug. 13, 1918, paved the way for women in the Marine Corps today. During WWI, most of these women Marines, referred to as Marinettes, freed male Marines from clerical billets at Headquarters Marine Corps, enabling them to fight in France. Others filled jobs at recruiting stations across the country. Although women still didn’t have the right to vote, they were willing and able to serve their country. Twenty-five years later, the country was embroiled in another world war and women again answered the call to serve. More than 22,000 officers
and enlisted women joined the Corps during World War II as part of the Women’s Reserve. Women Marines in this war performed more than 200 military assignments. In addition to clerical work, they also filled positions as parachute riggers, mechanics, radio operators, mapmakers and welders. By June 1944, women reservists made up 85 percent of the enlisted personnel on duty at Headquarters Marine Corps and almost two-thirds of the personnel manning all major posts and stations in the United States and Hawaii. At the war’s end, Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps, credited these women with “putting the 6th Marine Division in the field.” Following Japan’s surrender, the demobilization of the Women’s Reserve proceeded rapidly, with only 1,000 remaining in the reserve by July
1946. Then, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which authorized the acceptance of women into the regular component of the Marine Corps and other armed services. For the first time in history, the Women’s Reserve was mobilized in August 1950 for the Korean War, reaching peak strength of 2,787 activeduty women Marines. Again, they stepped into stateside jobs and freed
male Marines for combat duty. By the height of the Vietnam War, about 2,700 active-duty women Marines served stateside and overseas. During this period, the Marine Corps began opening career-type formal training programs to women officers and advanced technical training to enlisted women. It was also during the 1970s that women Marines were assigned to Fleet Marine Force units for the first time. By 1975, women could be assigned to all occupational fields except infantry, artillery, armor and pilot/air crew. The 1990s saw additional changes and increased responsibilities for women in the Marine Corps, including flying combat aircraft. Approximately 1,000 women Marines were deployed to the Middle East for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-1991. Women have served in every rank from private to lieutenant general.
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Marine Corps Ball traditions stand test of time
n Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress gave the order to establish two battalions of Continental Marines. It is for that reason the formal commemoration of the Marine Corps birthday is celebrated each year on or around Nov. 10.
Yet, from 1798 to 1921, the Corps birthday was celebrated July 11, as on July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved a bill that recreated the Corps. However, in October 1921, Maj. Edwin McClellan of the Headquarters Marine Corps Historical Section sent a memo to then-commandant Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune proposing the original birthday Nov. 10, 1775, be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps. He further recommended that the Corps hold a dinner in Washington to celebrate the event. Thus, Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, Nov. 1, 1921. The order, which was
directed to be read to every command on Nov. 10 each year, summarized the history, mission and tradition of the Marine Corps. So it has been each year since 1921. It is believed that the first official “Birthday Ball” was likely to have been held in Philadelphia in 1925 at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel with a following ball at the Bellevue-Stratford. The first cake ceremony on record is thought to have been held at the Marine Barracks in Washington in 1937. The then-commandant, Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb, held an open house for officers, and the event included the cutting of a large cake. In October 1952, Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., the commandant of the Marine Corps, directed that Marine Corps Birthday celebrations be formalized throughout the Corps. At that time, an outline for the cake ceremony and other formal observances came into being. The Marine Corps Drill Manual, approved in January 1956, included Shepherd’s outline
of approved Marine Corps birthday observances. According to tradition, the first piece of cake is given to the oldest Marine present with the second piece going to the youngest.
Though this tradition has varied based on the dignitaries present at the event, it has largely remained this way throughout the years. Editor’s note: The source of
this article is the Marine Officer’s Guide (Sixth Edition) by Lt. Col. Kenneth W. Estes and the U.S. Marine Corps History and Museums Division. Photo by Lance Cpl. Wyatt Brown.
Happy Birthday, United States Marine Corps!
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The Medal of T
he Medal of Honor is the highest award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States. In judging men for receipt of the medal, each service has established its own regulations. The deed must be proved by uncontestable evidence of at least two eyewitnesses; it must be so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes the recipient’s gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery; it must involve the risk of his life and it must be the type of deed which, if he had not done it, would not subject him to any justified criticism.
The idea for the Medal of Honor was born during the Civil War as men fought gallantly and oftentimes displayed great heroism. President George Washington
originated the Purple Heart in 1782 to honor brave soldiers, sailors and Marines. From that time until the Civil War, Certificates of Merit and a “brever” system of promotions were used as military awards. The first military decoration formally authorized by the American government as a badge of valor was the Medal of Honor for enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps. It was authorized by Congress, and approved by President Abraham Lincoln on Dec. 21, 1861. The medal for the Army and Voluntary Forces was authorized on July 12, 1862. The medal is awarded “in the name of the Congress of the United States” and for this reason, it is often mistakenly called the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is only on rare occasions, however, that Congress awards special Medals of Honor. An executive order, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on Sept.
20, 1905, directed that ceremonies of award “will always be made with formal and impressive ceremonial,” and that the recipient “will, when practicable, be ordered to Washington, D. C., and the presentation will be made by the president, as commander-in-chief, or by such representatives as the president may designate.” Since 1862, 294 Marines have been award the Medal of Honor, The first recipient was Col. John F. Mackie, who during the attack on Fort Darling at Drewry’s Bluff, Va., “fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits on shore, and when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage.” Sixteen other enlisted Marines were awarded the medal during the Civil War. Another 63 Marines would receive the Medal of Honor in the 1871 Korean
Campaign, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion. Marine and Navy officers were first declared eligible for the award in 1913, and in the next year nine medals were awarded to officers for the landing at Vera Cruz, Mexico. The “Banana Wars” saw another 13 medals conferred on enlisted Marines and officers. Only two Marines, Maj. Gen Smedley D. Butler and Sgt. Maj. Daniel Daly were each awarded two Medals of Honor for separate actions: Vera Cruz (1914) and Haiti (1915) for Butler, and Peking (1900) and Haiti (1915) for Daly. Although only seven Marines received the medal for actions during World War I, 82 medals were given to Marines during World War II and another 42 were awarded for the Korean War. It was during Vietnam that the last Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines. A total of 57 were awarded during that conflict.
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Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 15
Pace of peace War on terrorism delivers decade of steady success Story by Amy Binkley | Courtesy Photos
here is something to be said about taking things at a slow and steady pace.
Slower usually means smarter, and smarter leads to the path of success. After a decade’s worth of fighting the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, America has learned invaluable lessons at the price of many lives. When radical Muslim terrorists hijacked and crashed planes into the World Trade Centers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a small field in Pennsylvania, the years of peace the country had enjoyed was turned to chaos. The age of innocence ended for an entire generation on Sept. 11, 2001. President George Bush, still learning the ropes of his newly-appointed position, rallied the nation together in a united front unseen since the deadly attacks on Pearl Harbor. “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done,” he said. With a flood of new re-
cruits, military institutions assembled themselves for battle, but as others prepared, the Marines moved forward as America’s force in readiness. The men and women of the Marine Corps left the comforts of home to camp on the border of Afghanistan within a month of the attacks. For the past 10 years, they have proved their unequalled reputation in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, leading service members in game-changing battles in Marjah, Fallujah and the Helmand province. Yet with scores of successful missions, why does the battle rage on? The answer is simple – the enemy is not defeated. Generational mindsets cannot be changed overnight. They must be rooted out and replaced with ideals that are moral, noble and effective. The U.S. has refused to act like a scared child pulling the blanket over their head and pretending the monsters don’t exist. Monsters do exist, and for 236 years, the Marines have taken it upon themselves to protect their targets.
Since the war on terrorism began, the world has seen the results the tip of the spear brings. They cannot leave the country in unsafe hands, whether they are the hands of terrorists or just the ignorant who must be taught. Marines now live and eat with Afghan soldiers. Those who once hid from American troops now fight alongside them, engaging a common enemy. The sense of brotherhood instilled in Marines at boot camp sets them apart from other branches of the military and attracts those who are willing to learn. The past decade has produced a generation of instant gratification, but the bigger the problem, the more time it takes to fix. America cannot become combat complacent. The war is still very real. History has a way of repeating itself, and words of leaders from the past still find relevance in the present. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation after declaring war in 1941with wisdom that bridges generational gaps and hauntingly reflects the
modern mission. “This generation of Americans has come to realize, with a present and personal realization, that there is something larger and more important than the life of any individual or of any individual group – something for which a man will sacrifice, and gladly sacrifice, not only his pleasures, not only his goods, not only his associations with those he loves, but his life itself,” he said. “In times of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this nation is and what we owe to it.” The fight has been long, and the wounds from it are deep. Such wounds leave scars, but those scars can serve as reminders of the lives sacrificed and those who continue to put themselves in harm’s way. Victory does not exist without conflict, and the United States Marine Corps will continue to fight until terrorism is knocked out and peace is named champion – no matter how long it takes. Semper Fi.
In times of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this nation is and what we owe to it. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 17
Mess night fosters comradery
oday’s mess nights bear little resemblance to the Roman and Viking victory celebrations that they are based upon. Current mess night traditions can be traced to the 4th Marine Regiment of the 1920’s in Shanghai, China.
Former Marine commandant Gen. Lemuel Shepard was invited to attend the mess night of the Second Battalion, Scots Guards. Shepherd remembered an impressive evening; the mess silver sparkled in the light of the handsome candelabra arranged on a polished table laden with fine crystal and china. During the dinner, the battalion’s pipe major played several traditional highland ballads to the tune of his own wailing on the bagpipes, and a guardsman danced. Shepard was so impressed with the evening, he immediately began to arrange a similar gathering and invited the officers of the Scots Guards. These exchanges continued as the 4th Marines served in China. The Marines received musical instruments to accompany a successful mess night, a gift from the American Troop and American Company of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. Sterling Fessenden, the chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council, apparently orchestrated the donation in 1927, and the grateful Marines dubbed their new musical group “The Fessenden Fifes.”
18 special edition | Celebrating usmc 236th birthday
The new martial music added an appropriate and enjoyable accompaniment to any mess nights hosted by the Marines. This tradition was quickly embraced by the rest of the Corps in the spirit of fostering comradeship, respect and admiration for the organization. Only Marines are permitted at a mess night, with the exception of the guest of honor, who may be a civilian. The president and vice president of the mess chair the event and are responsible for its organization as well as enforcement of the night’s rules. Members of the mess enter the hall to the sounds of “Semper Fidelis” and remain standing until the vice president or chaplain has blessed the congregation. After the dinner, toasts are made with port, a tradition that dates back to the British mess night. At the time, the British and French were enemies, and most good wine came from France. The British felt that it would be in bad taste to toast with the wine of their enemy’s country, forcing them to use Portuguese wine, or port. The tradition of using rum punch comes from the Marine’s origin at Tun Tavern. Other traditions throughout the night include the paying of fines, toasts, speeches and sea stories.
Editor’s note: Article written by Lt. Col. Merrill L. Bartlett, U.S. Marine Corps (retired). Photo by Cpl. Brice D. Sparks.
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Golden silence Discipline defined by Silent Drill Platoon
ayoneted rifles flying from Marine to Marine, the lineup of crisp dress blue uniforms, the rhythmic slap of rifles caught by leather-
The Silent Drill Platoon exemplifies Marine
Corps discipline and skill. Members of the Silent Drill Platoon are handpicked to represent the Marine Corps. Through intense practice they learn the precise rifle drill performed for audiences across America. The platoon is based at the historic Marine
Barracks Washington, D.C., “8th & I.” The Barracks is the oldest active post in the Marine Corps, and is located on the corners of 8th & I streets in southeast Washington, D.C. The Barracks supports both ceremonial and security missions, and is also the home of the commandant of the Marine Corps.
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Salute still stands as sign of respect A
unique aspect of military courtesy is the salute. It is a gesture of respect among military service personnel.
Accordingly, the salute is a uniform gesture; meaning that the highest man in rank returns the salute in the same form in which it is rendered to him. By saluting first, no officer implies that he is in any sense inferior to the senior whom he salutes. The origins of saluting, like so many military customs and traditions, is shrouded in the past, but there are several possibilities concerning its beginnings.
In the medieval days of chivalry, mounted knights in mail raised their visors to friends for the purpose of identification. Because of strict adherence to rank, the junior was required to make the first gesture. It seems reasonable to assume, however, that the hand salute as now rendered in the military, evolved to some degree from the British navy. There is general agreement among scholars that the hand salute is actually the first part of “uncovering” in front of a senior. That practice gradually evolved over time into merely touching the cap, and became the present salute.
There are several types of military salutes - the hand salute, the rifle salute at order arms, a rifle salute at right shoulder, and still another rifle salute at present arms. “Eyes Right” is another type of military salute, which is rendered by troops when passing in review. A unique type of salute is the respect that is rendered over a grave by a military honor guard. Originally, three rifle volleys were fired into the air over the grave of a fallen soldier. This custom may well have originated in a perceived need to scare away evil spirits “escaping” from the dead.
As in ancient times, it was believed that the hearts of the recently deceased were ajar at such times, allowing the devil to enter. Today, the homage and respect displayed at military funerals is a visible final tribute to those individuals who have served their country. The various forms of military hand and gun salutes are administered by an individual or group as a sign of respect. Originating in customs, traditions, and even superstitions from our distant past, the salute has evolved from ancient times to become an important part of military etiquette.
Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 21
Physically fit Marine Corps Recruit training, as it is known today, was established in the early 1900s. In those early days, the training moved around before settling at Parris Island and San Diego around 1915.
Since the beginning, the recruit depots have offered basic training, “but the methods and sophistication have changed,” said Dr. Stephen Wise, director of the Marine Corps Museum at Parris Island. “What has remained the same are the basic principles of boot camp. How they are instructed has changed over time,” said Ellen Guillemette. In the days of the world wars, Marine recruits spent a lot of time “marching around in circles,” if you believe the pictures, Guillemette said. Frank McNeive, a retired sergeant major who served two tours as a drill instructor at Parris Island, said when he went through recruit training in 1945, the instructors would make recruits stand at attention for extended periods of time to teach them discipline. Drill instructors lived with their recruits, said McNeive, who served as an instructor from 1954 to 1956 and 1960 to 1962. “We had a room right outside the squad bay. There were no special quarters for (instructors),” he said. Until 1956, recruit training was mainly “drill, discipline and marksmanship,” said Eugene Alvarez, a historian and former drill instructor. After six recruits drowned in a forced night march through Ribbon Creek, recruit training changed to more physical training, Alvarez said. “There’s no more of the ‘head in the bucket,’ as it was called, training,” he said. “The strong-handed drill instructor is a thing of the past,” though the drill instructors can still “scream and holler.”
Boot camp takes recruits from couch potato to American hero
The emphasis on physical training has also come in response to changing times. While the Marine recruits of old came to boot camp fresh from the athletic fields or farm, some of today’s recruits come straight from the couch. From the mid-80s on, “they were encountering a lot
of people who were less physically fit, less strong,” Guillemette said. Recruits needed to build bone strength and muscle mass at boot camp. Still, the emphasis on physical training is not the only change boot camp has seen.
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CELEBRATION OF MUSICIANS SPONSORED BY:
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WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE AN EVENT CELEBRATING OUR VETERANS
HAPPY 236th BIRTHDAY, US MARINES! OF ARMED FORCES THAT ARE SERVING IN THE COMMUNITY ASSISTING YOUTH TO DEVELOP THEIR MUSICAL GIFTS AND TALENTS. THEY ARE STILL DEVOTING THEIR TIME IN THEIR LOCAL MINISTRY.
Celebration of MusiCians Sponsored by Spirit of Excellence Community Outreach, Inc. Hosted by Rock of Deliverance Ministries Worldwide DATE: NOVEMBER 26, 2011 TIME: 6:30PM
LOCATION: MARSTON PAVILLION BLDG. 730 MCB CAMP LEJUENE, NC.
We are proud to announce an event celebrating our Veterans of TICKETS: $25.00 PER PLATE (ADULTS) Armed Forces assisting youth to develop their musical talents. DINNER: CATERED, BUFFET STYLE They are still devoting their time in their local ministry. November 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm GUESTS: GOSPEL FEATURED Marston Pavillion Bldg. 730 MCB Camp Lejeune, NC INSPIRATION, CORTET GROUP Tickets are $25 per plate *(adults) Dinner will be catered, buffet style CHARLESTON, SC Featured GueStS: Gospel Inspiration, Quartet Group, Charleston, SC
This is a formal & Semi-formal event. Prizes will be given for best dressed male and female. Additional Information: 910-346-3925 or Candie Lewis 910-264-3235 THIS IS A FORMAL AND SEMI FORMAL EVENT. PRIZES WILL BE GIVEN, AND FOR BEST DRESSED MALE AND FEMALE
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Military Order of the Purple Heart honors heroes A
n organization now known as the “Military Order of the Purple Heart,” was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration.
Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans service organization comprised strictly of combat veterans. The Military Order of the Purple Heart serve a two-fold purpose-they help the veterans who participate in endeavors and enable the organization to do many things on behalf of hospitalized and needy veterans and their families. Wives, mothers, daughters, stepdaughters and adopted daughters of Purple Heart recipients are eligible to belong to the Ladies’ Auxiliary
of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which also does important work nationally and locally in veterans’ hospitals. Originally the Purple Heart was awarded for meritorious service. Being wounded was one portion of consideration for merit. With the creation of the Legion of Merit in 1942, the award of the Purple Heart for meritorious service became unnecessary and was therefore discontinued. The Purple Heart, per regulation, is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded, killed, or has died after being wounded.
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continued from 5 In December 1942, Marine Barracks New River was renamed Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune, in honor of the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John A. Lejeune. In 1946, it was renamed Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. During WWII, Camp Lejeune was the only training facility for the first African-Americans ever to wear the uniform. From 1942, until the desegregation of the armed forces in 1948, all AfricanAmerican Marines took their recruit and advanced training at Camp Lejeune’s Montford Point. And, with the forming of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in November 1942, the majority of the approximately 20,000 women who joined during WWII also trained at Camp Lejeune. Taking up more than 1/5 of the land area, altering the economy remained firmly based on the bounty of nature, emphasizing agriculture, fishing, logging and other related enterprises. Suddenly, on Sept. 1, 1939, World War II erupted in Europe. Though the populace didn’t know it at the time, the emergence of this global conflict would bring about immediate and irreversible change to the area with the establishment of several military installations. At the beginning of the war, a huge mobilization effort was underway in case the need to enter the fray at a moment’s notice arose. With Parris Island and Quantico quickly becoming overcrowded, the need for one large Marine Corps base on the East Coast that could serve as an operational staging area and training center became increasingly vital. In the summer of 1940, Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb, then Marine Corps commandant, ordered Maj. John C. McQueen to find a training center. Within a month, McQueen and his pilot, Capt. Verne McCaul, set off on an aerial survey that covered the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Norfolk, Va., to Corpus Christi, Texas. As they circled over the Onslow County coast, they saw below them the only remaining beach on the East Coast, where, it was determined, two divisions could be landed side
by side and move inland. It was an ideal training area for maneuvering large formations, firing artillery and major facility construction. Because of the predominantly underdeveloped and under-populated nature of the area, the land was both available and inexpensive. The area also met most of the technical site selection criteria established by the Corps. It had access to deep-water ports and was an area with minimal human habitation that was free of interference from aircraft, industry and roads. On Dec. 30, 1940, secretary of the Navy Frank Knox approved the site selection for the East Coast divisional training center at New River. The geography, topography, oceanfront, climate and isolation of Onslow made the county’s coast a great location for a Marine Corps base. Marine Corps Barracks, New River was established in May 1941. In December 1942, Marine Barracks New River was renamed Marine Barracks Camp Lejeune, in honor of the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John A. Lejeune. In 1946, it was renamed Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. During WWII, Camp Lejeune was the only training facility for the first African-Americans ever to wear the uniform. From 1942, until the desegregation of the armed forces in 1948, all AfricanAmerican Marines took their recruit and advanced training at Camp Lejeune’s Montford Point. And, with the forming of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in November 1942, the majority of the approximately 20,000 women who joined during WWII also trained at Camp Lejeune. Taking up more than 1/5 of the land area, altering the demographic complextion of the county and fueling the local economy, Camp Lejeune has changed life in Onslow. The value of this land to the Marine Corps has grown over the years as men have trained to fight wars in Korea, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia and have deployed for such actions as peacekeeping in Leba-
non and a host of noncombatant evacuation operations throughout this decade. The idea of Special Operations Capable Marine Expeditionary Units was born at Camp Lejeune and Marines here continue to make strides toward the future of warfare in such as areas as urban and riverine operations. At the beginning of the century, the population of the city of Jacksonville was 309 people. By the halfway mark, that number had increased by over 1,000 percent to 3,960 residents. The War Department initially purchased an 11.2 square mile tract of land for the base’s construction. Today, Camp Lejeune occupies 246 square miles, 41 of which are underwater and contains 6,946 buildings. The 92-mile perimeter of the base includes 14 miles of beaches, making it a major training area for amphibious assaults. There are 54 live-fire ranges, 89 maneuver areas, 33 gun positions, 25 tactical landing zones and a state-of-the-art Military Operations on Urban Terrain training complex. With close proximity to ports at Wilmington and Morehead City, Lejeune was a logistical gem. The base, which is home to an active duty, dependent, retiree and civilian employee population of nearly 150,000 people, generates $2 billion in commerce a year. As America’s finest fighting force, it’s only fitting that Marines are stationed on one of the finest bases the Department of Defense has to offer. A six-time (1987, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2009) recipient of the Commander-in-Chief ’s Award for Installation Excellence, Camp Lejeune has been recognized for the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain military installations. In addition to main side, Camp Lejeune also consists of three satellite facilities at Camp Geiger, Camp Johnson and Stone Bay. Include Marine Corps Air Station New River and you’ve got the largest concentration of Marines and sailors in the world. Editor’s note: Article written by Cpl. Adam Johnston
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What yourimportant favorite Marine What is is most to youCorps about the Marine Corps Birthday Ball? birthday tradition?
“The Marine Corps Birthday celebration stretches across oceans. “I likematter that fact that allboots of theareMarines, young and old, It doesn’t the soil your on, the Honor and Traditions of the Corps upheld and all Marines getMarine together to are celebrate old celebrated times andbynew times.” on this day…and we get cake. ” Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 25
Revolutionary War Streamer
Civil War Streamer
World War I Victory Streamer with one silver and one bronze star, one Maltese Cross, and Siberia and West Indies clasps
arine Barracks, Washington, D.C., holds the official Battle Colors of the Marine Corps. A duplicate is maintained in the office of the commandant of the Marine Corps in the Pentagon. The Battle Colors bear the same 50 streamers authorized for the Marine Corps as a whole. These streamers represent U.S. and foreign unit awards as well as those periods of service, expeditions and campaigns in which the Marine Corps has participated from the American Revolution to today. During the Marine Corps’ first 150 years, Marines in the field carried a variety of flags. It was not until April 18,
1925 that Marine Corps Order Number 4 designated gold and scarlet as the official colors of the U.S. Marine Corps. These colors, however, were not reflected in the official Marine Corps flag until Jan. 18, 1939, when a new design incorporating the new colors was approved. This design was essentially that of today’s Marine Corps standard, and was the result of a two-year study concerning the design of a standard Marine Corps flag, and the units to which such a flag should be issued. The 54 colored streamers which adorn the Battle Colors represent the history and accomplishments of the Marine Corps. The newest streamers added to the Battle Colors are the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Streamers.
World War II Victory Streamer
Korean Service Streamer with two silver stars
Vietnam Service Streamer with three silver and two bronze stars
Afghanistan Campaign Streamer with three bronze stars
Iraq Campaign Streamer with four bronze stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer
This Marine is Proudly Sponsored by Lance Cpl. Clarissa Burkes Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael E. Sales Combat Logistics
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Happy 236th s! Birthday, Marine
What yourimportant favorite Marine What is is most to youCorps about the Marine Corps Birthday Ball? birthday tradition?
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“It’s a combination. Honoring those who came before and it’s the one time “I year like we that alltime of the Marines, young of the canfact havethat a good at the Marine Corps Balland andold, get to know anothertooutside the office. gives the get one together celebrate oldIttimes andsenior newMarines times.”a chance to let junior Marines know we are all human.”
Medal of Honor
Awarded by the President in the name of Congress to members of the Naval service, who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his/her life above and beyond the call of duty.
Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, is cited for gallantry in action that does not warrant the Medal of Honor.
Awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, is cited for gallantry in action that does not warrant the Medal of Honor or Navy Cross.
Navy & Marine Corps Medal
Awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps, distinguishes himself by heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy.
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force who has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may die after being wounded.
n Sept. 15, Sgt. Dakota Meyer became the first living Marine since the Vietnam-era to receive a Medal of Honor in recognition of his acts of extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Ganjgal Sept. 8, 2009, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kunar province, Afghanistan. To date, 298 Marines have received the Medal of Honor dating back to the Civil War. The United States military first began awarding service medals for valor during the Civil War. These medals are meant to recognize service and personal accomplishments and to display the highlights of a Marine’s career. Of which, eight are designated for awarding of valor.
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What isismost important to youCorps about What your favorite Marine the Marine Corps Birthday Ball?
birthday tradition? “Bringing older and younger Marines together and watching the commandant of the Marine Corps’ message. It’s very “I like thattofact thattheallmessage of the Marines, and old, important watch because it young makes Marines get together celebrate oldloves times new times.” aware oftowhy America its and Marines.” Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 27
story by sarah anderson • courtesy photo
Family readiness groups host Marine Corps birthday balls for spouses of deployed Marines
he Marine Corps birthday ball is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Marines don their dress blues and their dates dress up in fancy ball gowns and tuxedos as the evening is spent honoring and celebrating the Marine Corps’ past and present. However, with deployments being an ever-present reality, many Marines and their spouses are not able to attend this year’s birthday ball. Because of this, some battalion family readiness groups have begun hosting birthday balls for the spouses of deployed Marines who otherwise would miss out on the event. “The spouses are a part of the Marine Corps, in the background as support for our service members,” said Megan Plummer, family readiness assistant with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. “I think that it’s important to hold a ball every
year because it shows your pride in the Marine Corps. For these reasons I think the Marine Corps and the Marines themselves deserve to be recognized even though (they) may be (deployed).” This year, Marine Corps Community Services held the Lipstick and Camouflage Deployed Spouses’ Ball aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 4. The guest speaker was humanitarian and writer, Roberta Gately. With the “modified-military” dress code, spouses were encouraged to create and alter their dresses to give them a military flare. 1st Battalion, 9th Marines family readiness group has a birthday ball planned for its spouses as well. The masqueradethemed event will be held Saturday aboard MCB Camp Lejeune. While spouses’ balls may be a little different than their official counterparts, the focus is and always will be about honoring and celebrating the Marine Corps.
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Cpl. Bryan Nguyen 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division Denton, Texas
What is most important to you about the Marine Corps Birthday Ball?
“I like listening to the guest speaker, because they talk a lot about Marine Corps history, which is something the junior Marines should pay close attention to. It also gives us a chance to come under one roof and remember the fallen.”
HONORING THE 21-GUN SALUTE T he 21-gun salute honoring the president of the United States, like many American military traditions, appears to be another custom inherited from Great Britain.
In early times, it was customary for a ship entering a friendly port to discharge its broadsides to demonstrate that they were unloaded; eventually it became a British practice to fire a seven-gun salute. The forts ashore
would fire three shots for each shot fired afloat. The three guns fired on shore to one gun fired on ship had a practical explanation. In earlier days, gunpowder was made of sodium nitrate and was easier to keep on shore than at sea. When gunpowder was improved by the use of potassium nitrate, the sea salute was made equal to the shore salute. The use of numbers “seven” and “three” in early gun salutes probably was connected to the mystical or
religious significance surrounding these numbers in many cultures. Today, a 21-gun salute on arrival and departure, with four ruffles and flourishes, is rendered to the president of the United States, a former president and a president elect. The national anthem or “Hail to the Chief,” as appropriate, is played for the president, and the national anthem for the others. A 21-gun salute on arrival and departure with four ruffles and flourishes also is rendered to the
sovereign or chief of state of a foreign country, or a member of a reigning royal family. In these ceremonies, the national anthem of his or her country also is played. Incidentally, U.S. Naval Regulations require that a 21-gun salute be fired at noon on President’s Day, Independence Day and Memorial Day. Editor’s note: The source of this story is the Reference Branch of the U.S. Marine Corps History Division.
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Gunnery Sgt. Combat Logistics Kenneth J. Pfeiler Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Tax Center, MCB Logistics Group Camp Lejeune Birmingham, Ala. Dubuque, Iowa
What is your favorite Marine Corps What is most important to you about birthday tradition? the Marine Corps Birthday Ball?
“I like thateverybody fact that all of thethe Marines, old, “It’s about taking time to young reflectand on those who came before us. We never knew them, but we get together to celebrate old times and new times.” honor them. That’s what we do.” Celebrating usmc 236th birthday | special edition 29
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he rationale behind the present parade precedence structure appears to be based more on custom than on any documented set of criteria. The majority of texts, manuals and guides on the subject of military customs and traditions appear to cite service seniority as the determining factor in deciding the precedence of the armed forces in parades. There exists among the various branches of the services a divergence of opinion on the issue of dates that mark the beginnings of their respective branches. Service seniority can be interpreted in a number of ways. For example, one could trace the origins of the various branches in their respective dates when the Continental Congress passed initiating resolutions. Using this criteria we could find the Army being established in June 1775, the Navy in October 1775, and the Marines on Nov. 10, 1775. The Marine Corps was a force in readiness before the Army or the Navy. Samuel Nicholas was commissioned a Captain of Marines Nov. 28, 1775, a month before the first officer of the Continental Navy was commissioned. The Marine Corps appears, therefore, to be the first truly
federal armed services branch. The question of seniority of the armed services is confused by the fact that nearly all of the original colonies placed militia, ships and troops serving as Marines in action at the opening of hostilities, before the establishment of the Continental Congress. It could be argued that these forces, having been taken under continental pay and control, constituted the beginning of the American Army, Navy and Marines. No definitive case can be made for establishing the relative seniority of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The present order of parade precedence has evolved over the years, perhaps initially based on early opinions of the actual dates of origin of the services. In any case, the present order of parade precedence has become one of our foremost military customs and as the foregoing has indicated, there appears to be little evidence to support any change in that order. The present order of parade precedence is indicated in Department of Defense Directive 1005.8 as Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Therefore, by analogy, the order of display of colors should be in the same order.
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