With the recent passing of the US Army Birthday on June 14th,  I took the opportunity to tell a couple of Army “joes” with us “Happy Birthday”. Their response, it’s interesting that I have to learn it’s our birthday from a Marine. I didn’t expect that.  I thought they would know their birthday. I thought they would celebrate it, but they didn’t, they didn’t even know it was their birthday.

I’m not bagging on the Army not knowing their birthday. However, you can ask any Marine, a recruit or a WWII vet when the Marine Corps Birthday is and he will tell you Nov 10, 1775. The difference in my opinion between the other services and the Marine Corps and celebrating their birthday is simple, Marines make an important day. We make it important because we cherish it. Not just one or two or a few Marines, but all Marines cherish our birthday.

Regardless where we are on our birthday, we celebrate it. Regardless if we are in Washington DC or Helmand province. One way or another, we celebrate it.  I have seen a small group of three Marines assemble together and celebrate it. Why because there wasn’t four of them.  If you haven’t ever attended a Marine Ball, GO. There is no other place where our Nations heroes don their famous dress blue uniforms, their magnificent ladies wear their evening gowns with pride and both are treated like royalty all night. Usually when there is a birthday ball conducted, the Marine Corps Commandants message is read, a formal display of Marines from the past is conducted, and a piece of birthday cake is shared between the oldest Marine attending and the youngest Marine attending.  This shows the passing of traditions from one Marine to another.  We Marines are big on traditions. Note, celebrating the Marine Corps birthday come hell or shine.

After the formal  part of the birthday ball is over, nowhere else will you witness a band of brothers more stronger.  Many non Marine guests reserve their tickets months in advance, many guests are taken back by what is witnessed during the event and every Marine young & old celebrates his birthday until they day he dies. This is why the Marine Corps birthday is different. We are Marines.  Come join us this Nov, you won’t forget it. Semper Fidelis and Happy Birthday Army!





  1. It wasn’t until I arrived at Parris Island that I found out the significance of my birth date, 11/10…the recruiter must still be laughing. As you can imagine, the DI’s enjoyed that little fact to no end – everything had to be faster, better, and more than ‘One More For The Corp’. I was on leave after getting out of ITR, and was home on 11/10 – home was also the Division HQ for the 4th Marine Division and my girlfriend and myself had stopped at the local watering hole to celebrate my birthday (Didn’t dawn on me at the time, but it was across the street from the HQ building). When we walked in, it was like it was a blue zebra farm – I hadn’t seen that many stripes and hash marks in my short life in the Corps. One Sgt Maj asked me how I was enjoying the Marine Birthday, and my girlfriend (naively) mentioned that it was mine – after having to produce my ID, we didn’t have to spend a dime on libation the rest of the evening. On my tour in ‘Nam with 1st Marines, I always had a feeling that Chesty was watching over me.

  2. The reason the Army does not know or care about there birthday is because they do
    not have Army pride. They only have unit pride, but Marines have Marine Corps pride,
    does not matter what your job is in the Corps or what unit your with, your still a
    Marine. Thats why you will not find unit patches on the shoulders on Marine Corps

  3. Yes – marines go marine wide to find their pride . Army defines pride in terms of ” I’m with the …… 101st Airborne , 1st Cav , etc

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