Marine Corps Birthday

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Marine Corps Birthday
United States
Marine Corps Birthday

When It Occurs

Every November 10th


Days Passed (256)

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The celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday takes place on November 10. Established on November 10, 1921, by the U.S. Government, this day serves to express gratitude for the United States Marines. Having actively participated in almost every U.S. conflict, the Marine Corps has been a defender of our nation since its founding. As of 2017, the Corps, boasting over 186,000 active duty members and 38,500 reserves, upholds its longstanding tradition as guardians of the U.S. and its citizens.


  • Origins: The Marine Corps was established on November 10, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress, which ordered the raising of two battalions of Marines. The Marine Corps was created to serve as an infantry force capable of fighting both at sea and onshore, a role that has evolved over the centuries.
  • Growth: The Marine Corps has played a pivotal role in many of the United States' military engagements, earning a reputation for bravery, discipline, and effectiveness. The Marine Corps Birthday was officially recognized by Major General John A. Lejeune in 1921, when he issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, which directed that the history, traditions, and mission of the Marine Corps be celebrated annually on November 10th.


The Marine Corps Birthday holds significant importance for several reasons:

  1. Historical Remembrance: It honors the founding of the Marine Corps and its long-standing tradition of service and sacrifice.
  2. Esprit de Corps: It fosters camaraderie and a sense of belonging among Marines, both active duty and veterans.
  3. Recognition: It provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the Marine Corps throughout its history.

Traditional Celebrations

  1. Marine Corps Birthday Ball:

    • Formal Event: The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is a formal event held at bases and communities worldwide. It includes dinner, dancing, and various ceremonial activities.
    • Ceremonial Cake Cutting: One of the highlights of the ball is the traditional cake-cutting ceremony, where the first piece of cake is given to the oldest Marine present and the second piece to the youngest Marine, symbolizing the passing of knowledge and tradition from one generation to the next.
  2. Reading of Marine Corps Order No. 47:

    • Historical Message: The reading of Major General John A. Lejeune’s message, Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, is a tradition that recounts the history and mission of the Marine Corps, reinforcing the values and heritage of the Corps.
  3. Commandant’s Message:

    • Annual Address: The current Commandant of the Marine Corps delivers a message to all Marines, reflecting on the Corps' past accomplishments, current missions, and future goals.
  4. Parades and Ceremonies:

    • Public Displays: Many Marine Corps bases and communities host parades, ceremonies, and public events to honor the day, often featuring the Marine Corps Band and drill teams.

Ways to Celebrate

  1. Attend a Marine Corps Ball:

    • Formal Celebration: If you are a Marine, veteran, or invited guest, attend a Marine Corps Birthday Ball to participate in the formal celebrations and ceremonies.
  2. Participate in Local Events:

    • Community Events: Join local parades, ceremonies, and public events honoring the Marine Corps Birthday. These events often include displays of Marine Corps history and traditions.
  3. Connect with Fellow Marines:

    • Reunions: Organize or attend reunions with fellow Marines to celebrate the day and reconnect with old friends and comrades.
    • Social Media: Use social media to share memories, photos, and messages of camaraderie with the Marine Corps community.
  4. Honor Veterans:

    • Veteran Support: Visit local veterans' organizations, hospitals, or homes to show appreciation and support for Marine veterans.
    • Storytelling: Share stories of Marine Corps history and personal experiences to educate others and preserve the legacy of the Corps.
  5. Educate Yourself and Others:

    • History Lessons: Learn more about the history of the Marine Corps by reading books, watching documentaries, or visiting museums dedicated to military history.
    • Educational Activities: Engage in educational activities with children and young adults to teach them about the significance of the Marine Corps and its contributions to the nation.

Fun Facts About the Marine Corps

  1. First Amphibious Raid: The first amphibious raid in Marine Corps history occurred in 1776 when Marines successfully captured the British fort on New Providence Island in the Bahamas.
  2. Famous Motto: The Marine Corps motto, "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful), was adopted in 1883 and symbolizes the Marines' commitment to their duty and each other.
  3. Marine Corps War Memorial: The iconic Marine Corps War Memorial, located near Arlington National Cemetery, depicts the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.

Inspirational Quotes About the Marine Corps

  1. "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Marines don’t have that problem." – Ronald Reagan
  2. "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!" – Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. "The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle." – General John J. Pershing


The Marine Corps Birthday is a significant day that honors the history, traditions, and values of the United States Marine Corps. Whether attending a formal ball, participating in local events, reconnecting with fellow Marines, or educating others about the Corps, there are many ways to celebrate this special day. The Marine Corps Birthday fosters a sense of pride, camaraderie, and remembrance, ensuring that the legacy of the Marine Corps continues to inspire future generations.