"Resolved, That two Battalions of marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; and that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken, that no persons be appointed to office, or inlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required: that they be inlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress: that they be distinguished by the names of the first and second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered part of the number which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of."
Continental Congress, 10 November 1775
The Commandant's 2007 Birthday Message
Since the birth of our Nation, our liberty has been purchased by valiant men and women of deep conviction, great courage, and bold action; the cost has often been in blood and tremendous sacrifice. As America's sentinels of freedom, United States Maries are counted among the finest legions in the chronicles of war. Since 1775, Marines have marched boldly to the sounds of guns and have fought fiercely and honorably to defeat the scourge of tyranny and terror. We are Marines—that is what we do.
In the words of President John F. Kennedy: "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger." Magnificent heroes fought in the wheat fields of Belleau Wood, in the snows of the Chosin, and on the streets of Hue City. Your generation bears this obligation now, and it is borne on mighty and capable shoulders, Just like the Marines at Belleau Wood—we are once again engaged in sustained operations ashore. Just like Belleau Wood—Marines have been given the toughest sector and have prevailed over a resilient and determined enemy—who has made us pay for our gains. Once again, as in any struggle, the road ahead is far from certain, but as Marines, we are not dissuaded by the challenges of war or the tough conditions of a warrior's life. Indeed, we don't just accept our destiny—we shape it.
On our 232nd birthday, to every Marine—those still in uniform and those who have served honorable in the past—be proud of who you are and what you do. Know that your citizenship dues have been paid in full; you are part of this Nation's elite warrior class. Cherish our families who offer marvelous support, abiding resolve, and steadfast patience. Remember those who have served and those who have fallen—their names are chiseled on the roll call of America's heroes. Those who have carried the battle colors of our Corps have forged our heritage, and today's generation of leathernecks chart our future. Carry the colors with pride; carry them with honor.
Happy Birthday Marines!
James T. Conway
General, U.S. Marine Corps
It's been fourteen years since my removal from the TDRL and separation from the Marine Corps. It's hard to believe how much time has passed, and I wish that I could have served longer and done more.
The Marine Corps Colors are proudly displayed at my home today. To all the Marines out there, past and present, happy birthday and Semper Fi, Mac!
USMC 9971 OUT