Theodore's World: A Tribute To The United States Marine Corps ~ Happy 234th Birthday

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November 10, 2009

A Tribute To The United States Marine Corps ~ Happy 234th Birthday

Theodore's World Salutes the U.S. Marine Corps on Its 234th Birthday

Nov.10, 1775 – Nov.10, 2009

Semper Fidelis!

(Always Faithful!)

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway delivers the 234th Marine Corps Birthday message. " Carrying On A Legacy Of Valor "
It honors all Marines past and present. A special tribute to today's Heroes, Cpl Jonathan T. Yale, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines and LCpl Jordan C. Haerter, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. These fine Marines were KIA 22 April, 2008. Their heroic actions that day, saved the lives of over 50 Iraqis and Marines. They were both posthumously presented the Navy Cross for Extraordinary Heroism on February 20th, 2009. The Navy Cross is our nations second highest award for valor in combat. Jonathan was 21 years old, Jordan was 19 years old.


Authorized by an Act of Congress dated Nov.10,1775, the U.S. Marine Corps has served as an integral arm of the Department of the Navy since the Revolutionary War. From its legendary founding at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, the Marine Corps has won reknown as America’s "Soldiers of the Sea".


"Retreat Hell! We've Just got here!" Attributed by MajGen Ben Fuller to Col Frederick M. "Dopey" Wise, CO 2d Bn., 5th Marines, 2dDiv, AEF in France, on being informed that the French troops were retreating and being advised to do likewise, Wise reportedly erupted with an expletive.
"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?" GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918
"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." 1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army, Commander of American Forces in World War I

"What shall I say of the gallantry with which these Marines have fought! Of the slopes of Hill 142; of the Mares Farm; of the Bois de Belleau and the Village of Bouresches stained with their blood, and not only taken away from the Germans in the full tide of their advance against the French, but held by my boys against counter attacks day after day and night after night. I cannot write of their splendid gallantry without tears coming to my eyes." MajGen James G. Harbord, USA, in his book, "Leaves from a War Diary"

In the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the Marines made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace in Mexico City, which would be later celebrated by the phrase "From The Halls of Montezuma" in the Marines' hymn.

During World War I veteran Marines served a central role in the late American entry into the conflict.The Fifth and Sixth Marine Regiments fought their way to everlasting glory at Belleau Wood, creating the Marines' reputation in modern history. While its previous expeditionary experiences had not earned it much acclaim in the Western world, the Marines' ferocity and toughness in France earned them the respect of the Germans, who rated them of stormtrooper quality. The Corps had entered the war with 511 officers and 13,214 enlisted personnel, and by 11 November 1918 had reached a strength of 2,400 officers and 70,000 men.

In World War II, the Marines played a central role in the Pacific War, executing a series of daring amphibious landings on such islands as Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning." Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.

During the battle of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photograph of five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, having come ashore earlier that day, said of the flag raising, "...the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years." The acts of the Marines during the war added to their already significant popular reputation. By war's end, the Corps expanded from two brigades to six divisions, five air wings, and supporting troops, totaling about 485,000 Marines. In addition, 20 defense battalions and a parachute battalion were set raised.[37] Nearly 87,000 Marines were casualties during World War II (including nearly 20,000 killed), and 82 were awarded the Medal of Honor.

"By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy

The Korean War (1950-1953) saw the hastily formed Provisional Marine Brigade holding the defensive line at the Pusan Perimeter. To execute a flanking maneuver, General Douglas MacArthur called on Marine air and ground forces to make an amphibious landing at Inchon. The successful landing resulted in the collapse of North Korean lines and the pursuit of North Korean forces north near the Yalu River until the entrance of the People's Republic of China into the war. Chinese troops surrounded, surprised and overwhelmed the overextended and outnumbered American forces. X Corps, which included the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division, regrouped and inflicted heavy casualties during their fighting withdrawal to the coast, now known as the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

"Don't you forget that you’re Marines - First Marines! Not all the communists in hell can overrun you!" Col Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, rallying his 1st Marines near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

Marines would continue a battle of attrition around the 38th Parallel until the 1953 armistice. The Korean War saw the Corps expand from 75,000 regulars to a force of 261,000 Marines, mostly reservists. 30,544 Marines were killed or wounded during the war and 42 were awarded the Medal of Honor.

The Marine Corps served an important role in the Vietnam War taking part in such battles as Da Nang, the Relief of Hue City, and the Battle of Khe Sanh. Individuals from the USMC operated in the Northern I Corps Regions of South Vietnam. While there, they were constantly engaged in a guerrilla war against the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) and an intermittent conventional war against the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). Portions of the Corps were responsible for the less-known Combined Action Program (CAP) that implemented unconventional techniques for counter-insurgency and worked as military advisors to the Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps. Marines were withdrawn in 1971, and returned briefly in 1975 to evacuate Saigon and attempt a rescue of the crew of the Mayagüez.

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to the largest movement of Marine forces since World War II. Between August 1990 and January 1991, 24 infantry battalions, 40 squadrons (more than 92,000 Marines) deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. The air campaign of Operation Desert Storm began Jan. 16, 1991, followed by the main overland attack Feb. 24 when the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions breached the Iraqi defense lines and stormed into occupied Kuwait. Meanwhile, the threat from the sea in the form of Marine Expeditionary Brigades held 50,000 Iraqis in check along the Kuwait coast. By the morning of Feb. 28, 100 hours after the ground war began, the Iraqi army was no longer a threat.

"I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant', it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier'. It was a classic - absolutely classic- military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier." Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991

Today's Marines remain a vital link in America's fighting forces on land, at sea and in the air. They pride themselves on professionalism, brotherhood, esprit de corps and being "First To Fight". They serve with distinction on the ground and in the air above Iraq and Afghanistan.

"These are my recruits. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and country. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality, and professional skill."
"Drill Instructor’s Creed" as it appeared in the Parris Island "Boot" newspaper, Aug. 31, 1956

Posted by Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 04:49 AM


Happy Birthday Marines

"Nearly all of us cried in Nam. None of us whined. Men and women cry. Puppies and spoiled brats whine. " - Captain William Van Zanten, 2nd Bn 4th Marines "The Magnificent Bastards"

With tomorrow being Veteran's Day I want to thank each and every one of you for your service, your loyalty and your support, especially our host. Thank you Chrissie for being here for us.

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."

I'm off to Chernobyl for another load of Uranium in the Soviet of Washington so it's unlikely I can check in.

Posted by: Jack at November 10, 2009 09:18 AM

"...If the Army and the Navy ever looked on Heaven's scenes... they will find the gates are guarded by United States Marines!"
- Proud son of a WW II and Korean War Leatherneck (1st 2nd & 6th MAR DIV)

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at November 10, 2009 09:38 AM

Just fixin to get on the phone and call my Vietnam brothers and tell them happy birthday.

Chrissie, Excellent post. Thanks for thinking of us. I especially liked the video because it included SMaj. Kasal, standing tall. What a Marine!

Billy Ray
USMC 1967-71
RVN 1968-69,
HMM362 Ugly Angels
Crew Chief, YL3

Posted by: Billy Ray at November 10, 2009 09:46 AM

Happy Birthday to all my Brothers and Sisters. We are a fantastic family. G_d Bless all our past, present and future Marines.

Chrissie, thanks for your thoughts. Navy, thanks for hauling us around.

Semper Fi, Fair Winds and Following seas.

Posted by: SSgt Steve Gaston, USMC at November 10, 2009 10:02 AM


Posted by: Billy Ray at November 10, 2009 02:45 PM

All I can say is: THANK YOU. THANK YOU for my FREEDOM. "Our Veterans ARE Our Nobility"

Posted by: pontiff alex at November 10, 2009 04:13 PM

Jack, thank you so much. We will be
thinking about you tomorrow. Love how
you put that, I sure do understand.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 06:53 PM

Darth, thank you. God bless your Dad and
you too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 07:00 PM

Billy Ray, thank you and thank you for
benig here.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 07:03 PM

SSgt Steve Gaston, USMC, thank you!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 07:04 PM

Billy Ray, heh heh love it.
Thank you and thank you for serving our

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 07:07 PM

Alex, I LOVE this, thank you.

""Our Veterans ARE Our Nobility"

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 10, 2009 07:09 PM