We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In the 1970’s, Forbes magazine published a study of the most common backgrounds of the top five executives of each of the Forbes 500 largest corporations in the US. (I can’t find a copy online.) The prevalent backgrounds were former Marines, being from Brooklyn, and being Jewish.I recall thinking at the time, just beginning my corporate rise, that having all three I had it made.
Well, I rose high, but never “had it made.”Instead, I “made it” through the traits and training acquired from each of these backgrounds.
Well, again, you don’t have to be from Brooklyn or Jewish to be a United States Marine. Just be The Few, The Proud. Have the intestinal fortitude to be the best. Marines are still the most sought after proven performers and leaders for every walk of life.
During my time in the Corps, older timers used to regale us with stories of the “Old Corps” and how we had so much to live up to in order to be worthy to be Marines.
I live near many of today’s Marines at Camp Pendleton, and speak with them often.A few may, but it’s now rare to hear the young Marines regaled with “Old Corps” tales.
Today’s Marines are the finest product of the toughest training and -- overcoming the harsh conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are our best and, deservedly, proudest professionals and warriors.Us older Marines recognize that.
From Tuns Tavern on November 10, 1775 to today, the Marine Corps has always been The Few, The Proud.We are a family who are always there for each other and for America.As long as there’s a Marine, there’ll be someone fighting for America, and overcoming.
Happy Birthday, brothers and sisters of the USMC. OORAH!
Here, from the 1950 film “Halls Of Montezuma” is the original movie theater trailer:
Here is this year’s official Birthday message.It is tradition for the oldest Marine present to get the first drink to toast, then pass it to the youngest, as we pass our traditions on and on:
Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful, is not just a motto. It's a way of life.
I think one reason you hear fewer "Old Corps" stories now is that it's been a long time since we deployed large units of Marines into prolonged combat. The units in the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan have served with honor and courage, but their experience is very different from the experiences of Nam - Korea - WWII veterans (my uncle was a veteran of all three). There are, frankly, fewer "war stories" to tell. Field conditions are still austere but they're a lot better than they were curing the island-hopping campaign of WWII. Pitched battles of large units have been very few. The GWOT has been successful enough that even the combat unit Marines are seeing mostly skirmishes and surprisingly few of those.
As with all things, the Corps has changed and we've had a couple of generations of Marines in this version of the Corps. The traditions remain and are valuable; the experience has changed.