What is the Marine Corps Birthday?
The Marine Corps Birthday is observed on November 10. It was created on November 10, 1921 by the U.S. Government to show appreciation for the United States Marines. Having taken part in nearly every U.S. conflict, the Marine Corps has defended our country since America’s inception. The Corps, with over 186,000 active duty members and 38,500 reserves as of 2017, continues its proud tradition as protectors of the U.S. and its people.
Marine Corps Birthday History
On November 10, 1775, just eight months shy of the Declaration of Independence, a new corps was formed following the introduction of the Continental Marine Act. As suggested by the title, the group was known as the Continental Marines. While this group held several different duties, their core purpose was to provide additional security and support for the recently formed Continental Navy. First led by Commandant Samuel Nicholas, this branch of the burgeoning U.S. armed forces would culminate at just over 2,100 servicemen. In contrast, the number of active troops in the Continental Army at one time would reach a peak of approximately 80,000.
After participating in a host of actions and battles throughout the Revolutionary War, the Continental Marines would be disbanded upon the end of the conflict. The Marine Corps would be established on July 11, 1798, and throughout the 19th century (and a portion of the next), this would be the date upon which marines would celebrate the founding of the Corps as an official entity.
However, this would change in 1921. Major Edwin North McClellan of the Marine Corps History Division submitted a proposition to the ranking commandant which advocated for the anniversary to instead be designated on November 10. A series of standardizations as to how celebrations of the Marine Corps Birthday would be executed would follow in the 1950s. Since then, Marines have been encouraged to treat the anniversary with greater importance.