This Friday, Concerned Veterans for America FoundationSM celebrates the United States Marine Corps’ 242nd birthday.

Congress established the Marines Corps in 1775 to fight aboard the newly formed Navy’s ships. Captains Samuel Nicholas and Robert Mullan recruited the first Marines from Tun Tavern in Philadelphia where Mullan worked as the manager.

In the following years, the Marine Corps expelled British forces from the Bahamas and fought for the colonies’ independence. After the Revolution, Congress disbanded the Marine Corps and Navy, but quickly reconvened them so they could continue to defend our country.

A Legacy of Victory

Throughout our nation’s history, the Marine Corps has defended freedom. During World War I, more than 5,000 Marines died or were wounded in the Battle of Belleau Woods, making it the deadliest battle up to that point in Marine history. Their victory helped the French defend their territory from invading German forces.

The Battle of Belleau Woods inspired a young man named Lewis Burwell Puller to join the Marine Corps. Known as Chesty, he worked his way through the ranks, serving in World War II and the Korean War. His valor in combat earned him five Navy crosses. To this day, Chesty Puller is a legend among Marines for his grit and tenacity in battle.

In World War II, the Marine Corps played a vital role during the invasion of Normandy as well as General Douglas Macarthur’s island-hopping campaign in the Pacific theater. Marines also bravely fought in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other missions across the globe.

The Tradition Continues

The Marine Corps is currently its own branch under the Department of the Navy. It is capable of air, land and amphibious warfare. Today, 182,000 active-duty and 38,500 reservist Marines stand ready to defend America from its enemies.

Concerned Veterans for America FoundationSM wishes the Marine Corps a happy 242nd birthday, and thanks our servicemembers and veterans for showing tremendous courage for our country in the face of adversity.