Semper Fi: U.S. Marine Corps celebrates 246th birthday


SAN DIEGO — “When our nation called, Marines were there to defend her.”

Wednesday marks the 246th U.S. Marine Corps birthday, an annual tradition celebrating the organization’s original establishment on Nov. 10, 1775.

That force, the Continental Marines, was founded at a meeting of colonial leaders during the Revolutionary War and served as the predecessor to the modern U.S. Marine Corps. While the Continental Marines were briefly abolished and then reestablished as the Marine Corps in 1798, the modern branch celebrates the original date as its initial founding.

The birthday has become a way for members of the branch to come together and celebrate “past accomplishments, current traditions and future goals of the Marine Corps,” a spokesperson wrote.

One of the most recognizable traditions comes with the presentation of a birthday cake, sometimes cut with a ceremonial sword. That was the scene at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County Wednesday, where service members in dress blues presented a cake topped with a decoration referencing the iconic photo and statue of six Marines raising a U.S. flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

The Marine Corps also shared an annual address Wednesday, featuring a tribute from General David H. Berger and Sgt. Major Troy Black to the men and women who joined the USMC in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.

“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,” said General Berger.

You can watch the message in the video player below:

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