Members of the Marine Corps League join in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving traditions. Promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service. Effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy. Voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines, FMF Corpsmen, Chaplains, and former Marines, FMF Corpsmen, Chaplains, and their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.
2022 Southern Division Conference
28-30 April 2022, See events page for more details.
246th Birthday Messages
From the National Commandant of the Marine Corps League
Marines, 246 years ago, a Corps of Marines was founded at Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since 1921 we who are Marines, celebrate the birth of our Corps on 10 November. For the past 246 years, our citizens have called upon and counted on the Marines to do what we do best, to defend American soil and protect the American way of life and freedoms. It is a mission that we all swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The Marine Corps League is a continuation of the esprit de corps that we all enjoyed while serving on active duty or the reserves. This common spirit and patriotism exist in all members of our League. We all share this inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong honor of being a Marine. Within our Marine Corps League membership today, we have the greatest generation of Marines that served during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, Beirut, Gulf War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many other areas threatening our American way of life. Marines rose to the occasion then as they do now. America is proud of their Marines and rightfully so.
As Marines, we are extremely proud of our history and our legacy. The Marine Corps League also has its history and legacy and we are just as proud. As each of you celebrates the 246th year of the birth of the Marine Corps, I ask that you please remember our legacy and those that served before us. Think about and remember that esprit de corps that made us who we are today, United States Marines. Celebrate the bond that all Marines enjoy. Be proud of your Marine Corps and your Marine Corps League.
So, Happy Birthday Marines. Enjoy your celebrations throughout our country and continue to focus on each other and making our League stronger for all of us to enjoy! If you do not attend a formal celebration on the birth of our Marine Corps, please celebrate this day in your own way. Call a Marine that you haven’t heard from in a while and just say, “Happy Birthday Marine!” Stay healthy and take care of one another.
Marine Corps League
From the Commandant of the Marine Corps
10 November 1970, Commandant Chapman challenged all Marines, active and inactive, young and old, deployed or recently returned from combat, “not to look back, but instead, to look to the future.” He insisted that we celebrate our anniversary, “not as an end of almost two centuries of dedicated service, but as preparation for new service, new dedication, and new achievement.” Those sage words resonate across time and are as applicable today as they were 51 years ago.
Our Corps holds to traditions that link us to the elite warriors who wore the uniform before us, but the traditions we hand down through the generations go far beyond tangible displays, symbols, or customs. The most important traditions that link us to our past and must be carried into the future are the intangible ones—traditions of courage, trust, discipline, loyalty, respect, perseverance, adaptability, and leadership. Today, 246 years since our warfighting legacy began, we celebrate those traits that have been forged in all Marines—past and present.
The character of Marines, our unwavering commitment and relentless pursuit of excellence, remains unchanged from that of past generations, even as the character of warfare is ever-changing. These changes will require us to do what Marines do best—adapt and innovate to win any battle or respond to any crisis. Just as Marines who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan over these past 20 years adapted to the demands of protracted counterinsurgency operations—which would have been all too familiar to the Marines of 1970—we will adapt to the demands of the present and future, while learning the hard lessons from our recent past.
We can’t know for certain where future battlefields will be, or how our methods of warfighting will be redefined as threats to our Nation evolve, but we can ensure that the Marines who fight those battles will be forged of the same courage, spirit, and warfighting excellence as all Marines before them.
We who serve today represent an unbroken chain that stretches back 246 years. As we mark our anniversary, we remember those who went before us, and as we look over the horizon to “new service, new dedication, and new achievement,” solemnly swear to uphold their example of honor, courage, and commitment.
Happy 246th Birthday, Marines!
David H. Berger
General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps