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  • 16
  • Mar
  • 2018
The patron saint of artillery

By Cpl. Charles Plouffe, 3rd Marine Division

A fallen comrades table sits in the far corner of the room during 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. This table is used to represent and remind service members and their families of sacrifices that have been made. St. Barbara’s Day is celebrated by artillery Marines to recognize those who have given a lifetime of servitude to the artillery community.
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A fallen comrades table sits in the far corner of the room during 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. This table is used to represent and remind service members and their families of sacrifices that have been made. St. Barbara’s Day is celebrated by artillery Marines to recognize those who have given a lifetime of servitude to the artillery community.
Artillery Marines stands at attention for the Marine Corps Hymn during 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment’s St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. St. Barbara’s Day is celebrated by artillery Marines to recognize those who have given a lifetime of servitude to the artillery community.
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Artillery Marines stands at attention for the Marine Corps Hymn during 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment’s St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. St. Barbara’s Day is celebrated by artillery Marines to recognize those who have given a lifetime of servitude to the artillery community.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Lamar Burris stirs the ceremonial grog during the St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. The Honorable Order of St. Barbara recognizes Marines for their accomplishments in the artillery occupation by awarding them the St. Barbara’s Medallion. Burris, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, is with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.
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Master Gunnery Sgt. Lamar Burris stirs the ceremonial grog during the St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. The Honorable Order of St. Barbara recognizes Marines for their accomplishments in the artillery occupation by awarding them the St. Barbara’s Medallion. Burris, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, is with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Lamar Burris displays his St. Barbara’s Medallion during a St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. The Honorable Order of St. Barbara recognizes Marines for their accomplishments in the artillery occupation. Burris, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, is with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.
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Master Gunnery Sgt. Lamar Burris displays his St. Barbara’s Medallion during a St. Barbara’s Day celebration, March 9, 2017. The Honorable Order of St. Barbara recognizes Marines for their accomplishments in the artillery occupation. Burris, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, is with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.


St. Barbara’s Day has been celebrated by artillery men dating back to the 17th century in hopes to ward off thunderstorms, explosions, fires and sudden death.

3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment held a formal celebration the evening of March 9, 2018, for staff non-commissioned officers, officers and their spouses to come together and honor St. Barbara, the patron saint of artillerymen.

“This is one of the best events in the Marine Corps annually,” said Lt. Col. Ben Harrison, the 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment battalion commander. “We are very serious about the fact that all of the [military occupational specialties] in the regiment make our artillery successful in getting accurate and timely fires on target.”

During the celebration, several Marines of different MOSs were awarded the Order of St. Barbara Medallion for demonstrating a degree of professional competence and contributions to the promotion of the artillery branch.

The Honorable Order of St. Barbara, a board made up of members who were previous recipients of the award, recognizes Marines for their accomplishments in the artillery occupation and is an honorary society of both the Marine Corps and Army artillery community.

The night was full of laughter and tom-foolery, similar to a mess night, with a ceremonial grog, toasts, and skits to depict the birth of artillerymen in the military.

 “St. Barbara’s Day allows our community to come together and celebrate the lifetime of servitude individuals have given to the artillery field,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Lamar Burris, a recipient of the St. Barbara’s Medallion. “I am honored to have received the award.”


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