Defender of America’s constitution and its people, the Marine Corps celebrates its 245th birthday on November 10, 2020. Older than the United States itself, every birthday for the Marine Corps is a chance to commemorate the hard-as-nails spirit and grit of every Marine that has served. We hope to honor its legendary contributions as America’s expeditionary force in readiness by reminding ourselves of words and traditions most closely associated with its legacy.
- Since 1775, the Marine Corps has been holding Birthday Balls around the world to bring Marines together to celebrate.
- Days before November 10, The Motivational (MOTO) Run is performed by a specific group of Marines while others around the world also perform celebratory runs.
- At a Birthday Ball, the oldest Marine in attendance receives cake and then presents it to the youngest in attendance—a gesture symbolizing a passing of knowledge and experience.
- The birthday cake is cut with a sword! As the NCO sword is the oldest issued weapon for the Marine Corps, there’s no better way to cut baked goods.
- A reading of Major General John A. Lejeune’s Order No. 47 has been performed at every Birthday Ball since 1921.
The Marine Corps is filled with a rich history of mottos, sayings, and slogans—here’s a few:
A Latin phrase meaning “lead by example,” this term is the official motto of Officer Candidates School and is about behaving and leading in a way that inspires those around you.
“We have only one mission to perform—that is to fight and win. And we must do it better than anyone else in the world.”
LtGen Leslie E. Brown
Being used as a greeting and a way to express excitement, encouragement, and agreement—both on the battlefield and off—“Ooh-Rah” is a battle cry that found its way into Marine lingo shortly after the Korean War.
“Some people spend their life wondering if they made a difference. Marines don’t have that problem.”
Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President
The official Marine Corps motto since 1883, Semper Fidelis is latin for “always faithful” and symbolizes every Marine’s dedication and promise in their fight for our freedom. Usually shortened to Semper Fi, it’s used in a variety of ways to express tradition and responsibility.
“I love the Marines for the intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity.”
Cpl Jeff Sorni, USMC
Working alongside the Marine Corps and every other branch of the United States military fills us with immense pride. From offering customized, turnkey kitting solutions to supporting on-base military personnel with supplies that meet military and government purchasing regulations, the team here at IBVI proudly serves those who put everything on the line to protect our way of life.