On November 10, 1775, The Continental Congress raised the first and second battalion of American Marines. Ever since, Marines have been at the forefront of America’s wars, from the colonial battles in the early days of the Corps, to the island hopping campaign in the Pacific and names like Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Today, the war is changed and Marines fight different kind of battles, this time in the mountains of Afghanistan and deserts of Iraq, but their motto is as true now as it has always been: Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful.
The United States Marines have grown to be one of the most recognizable fighting forces in the world. They like to say about themselves that there is no better friend or a worse enemy than a U.S. Marine and both their friends and enemies have come to believe that as well. Throughout their history, spanning more than two centuries, from those first skirmishes on the beaches of Tripoli to modern conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Marines have always acquitted themselves with courage and honor, regardless of the enemy that was facing them. The battles of Bunker Hill, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Chosin Reservoir, Hue, Khe Sanh, and Second Fallujah are just some of the conflicts that have marked the long and distinguished history of the Marine Corps. Each battle has brought something new to the Corps, from Germans giving them their nickname Teufelshunde (devil dogs) to Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller quote at the Chosin Reservoir: “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time”. This is perhaps the saying that best reflects the attitude Marines have towards fighting an enemy, always on the attack. Find them and kill them is often the only approach Marines will use when meeting an opposing force, regardless of the odds. The modern-day Marines are living up to the renown of their predecessors, fighting wherever their country needs them.
One thing that makes such resolve possible is the knowledge that their families fully support them. Marines endure their training and deployment, often in harsh conditions because their families and loved ones back at home offer them their unconditional love and support. It is vital that their service is also remembered whenever the Corps is mentioned because the folks at home are the reason Marines fight and die at far-flung places across the globe. They draw their motivation from their families and that is something that can’t be overestimated. Their love and patience is a well from which Marines draw their strength.
Every Marine should always remember the ones that came before them but also pay attention to those that will come after them. Semper Fidelis and Keep Attacking!