Prominent in the Colonel's pantheon of personal military heroes is Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Ninety years ago, this week, in his capacity as Commandant -- fresh from the fighting in France, during which he served as the Commanding General of the U. S. Army's 2d Infantry Division -- Lejeune ordered that "a reminder of the honorable service of the Corps be published by every command, to all Marines throughout the globe, on the Birthday of the Corps."
On this Birthday of the Corps, therefore, in compliance with the will of the 13th Commandant, Article 38, United States Marine Corps Manual, Edition of 1921, is published as follows:
"(1) On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousands of men have borne the name 'Marine.' In memory of them 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.
(2) The record of our Corps is one which bears comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas, so that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
(3) In every battle and skirmish since the Birth of the Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term 'Marine' has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
(4) This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation and has long been the distinguishing mark of Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish, Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as 'Soldiers of the Sea' since the founding of the Corps."
To all of his brother and sister Marines, the Colonel hefts this morning his customary mug of joe and wishes each and all "Happy Birthday" on this the 236th anniversary of the founding of our beloved Corps.
Semper Fidelis, Marines!