The Marine Corps is celebrating its 241st birthday today. The Corps, though affiliated with the Navy, is considered one of four branches of the U.S. military. Its dates its founding back to Nov. 10, 1775 in Philadelphia when Continental Marines were charged with fighting from the land and the sea. The Corps currently has about 194,000 active duty members throughout the world. Many people know the Marine term “Semper fidelis” (always faithful”) but there’s plenty of other unique things about the Corps. Here are some interesting Marine facts from the USO.
-The Marine Corps’ first amphibious raid was only weeks after its creation when Marines successfully stormed a British weapons cache in the Bahamas.
-The Marines’ first land battle on foreign soil was in Libya, where 600 Marines stormed the city of Derna to rescue the crew of the USS Philadelphia from pirates.
-Male Marine recruits attend boot camp in one of two locations, depending on which side of the Mississippi they’re from: Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego for West Coast recruits and MCRD Parris Island for East Coast recruits. Female recruits only attend MCRD Parris Island.
-Marine recruits are finished eating the moment their drill instructor is finished. This is why Marines eat so fast.
-Fewer than 100 people have received the title of honorary Marine, a title that can only be bestowed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Here are a few of their names and ranks in order of seniority: Brig. Gen. Bob Hope, Master Sgt. Bugs Bunny, Cpl. Jim Nabors, star of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and actor Gary Sinise.
-The license plate of the Commandant of the Marine Corps reads “1775.”
-Marines in uniform are not authorized to put their hands in their pockets.
-In the Corps, because of the total hours off, a three-day weekend is called a “72” and a four-day weekend is called a “96.”
-Marines are often called jarheads because of their high-and-tight haircuts.