FORT BELVOIR, Va. --
November 10, 2020 will mark the 245th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Dating back to 1775, just eight months prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress established the Continental Marines.
The newly formed Marine Corps’ purpose was to provide additional security and support for the Continental Navy. Led by Commandant Samuel Nicholas, the initial two battalions of Continental Marines performed gallantly during the Revolutionary War, but were disbanded by Congress following the war due to fiscal constraints. However, more than two decades later, the Marines were reborn when on July 11, 1798, the US Congress ordered the reestablishment of a Marine Corps, which would operate under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy. From that day until the present, Marines have served with distinction in every clime and place.
As contained in the greeting of this message, “Semper Fidelis”, or “Semper Fi” for short, is the Marine Corps’ motto. It means “always faithful” in Latin, and it signifies a Marine’s loyalty to the mission, to the Corps and to the country. What you may not know is that Semper Fi did not become the Corps’ official motto until 1883. During its first century of existence, the Corps had a few unofficial mottos: “to the shores of Tripoli,” which commemorates the Marines’ service in the First Barbary War; “Fortitudine” meaning “with courage”; and “Per Mare, Per Terram” (“by sea and by land”), which US Marines borrowed from the British Royal Marines. The Marine Corps is the smallest of the armed services in the Department of Defense, with roughly 190,000 active-duty personnel.
Since 1921, Marines worldwide have celebrated the Marine Corps birthday with parades, formal gatherings, and cake-cuttings no matter the circumstance. This year’s celebration will be no different, and although Marines cannot gather in large numbers to celebrate, the Marines of DTRA and DLA have collaborated to develop a unique, virtual 245th USMC Birthday Celebration.
Join us on November 10, 2020 at 1000, to view the 245th Marine Corps Birthday Celebration video.
Wherever you find yourself this November 10th, be sure to wish the Marines you know a Happy 245th Birthday!