The Few. The Proud. The Marines.
Tuesday is Veterans Day, a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. We salute them all. But today belongs to the United States Marines, marking the 239th birthday of the Corps.
Marine Corps birthday celebrations come with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony that would put your usual event marketing to shame. For this, a commanding officer cuts the cake with a Mameluke sword (a kind of scimitar), the first piece going to the oldest Marine present, which is then passed along to the youngest. During the annual birthday celebration, Order No. 47 is read, which says in part, “it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.” Marines are proud of that history.
This birthday presentation started November 1, 1921 by order of the 13th Commandant, Gen. John A. LeJeune, as a reminder of the service of the Corps and its inception. It’s been celebrated this way for 93 years. So a real tradition and part of its “long and illustrious history” and a truly emotional event where loyalty and continuity continues to reinforce the Marine Corps brand.
History and tradition are a big part of the Marine Corps brand, and many expressions that have become part of the American lexicon are related to the Marines.