219 Reasons to Love The Corps
219 reasons to love the corps
1. best haircut. hands down. you can’t have a bad hair day with a high and tight. and you spend less on shampoo.
2. dress blues. they’re the coolest uniforms in any military worldwide.
3. bloused trousers. another distinctive marine look that sets the proudest service members apart.
4. from the alphas to the camouflage utilities, uniforms just look better on a marine than any other service member.
5. marines don’t wear dungarees.
6. most respect i. when the marines pulled out of haiti and somalia, the media reported the u.s. military was pulling out — as if tens of thousands of army troops weren’t still in the country. now that’s respect.
7. most respect ii. when the corps came back to haiti after 60 years, an old man on the cap-haitien beach said "welcome back!"
8. toughest mascot. the marine corps’ is a bull dog. the navy’s: a goat.
9. esprit de corps. even if you can’t spell it or pronounce it, the marine corps has it in spades. one example: when sailors get tattoos, they do it to express their individuality, and their choices range from betty boop and mickey mouse to raging sea serpents. when marines get tattoos, they do it to express their solidarity, and choose bull dogs, "death before dishonor," and "usmc."
10. best war monument: iwo jima
11. the marines invade, then go home. the army has to do the occupying.
12. the silent drill platoon. just watching them ply their trade makes you want to wear dress blues.
13. status. sailors live and work on ships. marines go for cruises —then hit the shore.
14. best fast attack vehicles: lavs.
15. best fighting knife: ka-bar.
16. best duty assignments: okinawa, kaneohe bay, camp pendleton, diegogarcia, moscow, north carolina. plus any ship at sea.
17. worst duty assignments: okinawa, kaneohe bay, camp pendleton, diegogarcia, moscow, north carolina. plus any ship at sea.
18. most exotic duty assignments: kuala lumpur, the white house.
19. best phone number. call 1-800-marines and you’ve got the corps. and if you’re a civilian with the mettle to be a marine, a recruiter there will be happy to sign you up.
20. toughest dis. they’re so tough that when the navy wants to train its officers, who do they call? 1-800-marines.
21. toughest boot camp. when san diego was still training navy recruits, legend has it that recruits occasionally would jump the fence and accidentally land in marine boot camp. the marines would keep them a couple of days, and when the recruits were sent back, they were ready to be sailors!
22. best motivational cry: ooh-rah!
23. best emblem: eagle, globe and anchor.
24. best campaign covers: the smokey bear hat.
25. separate heads for enlisted and officers. everywhere else, officers and enlisted use the same pot.
26. the only official, congressionally sanctioned hymn for any of the services: "the marines’ hymn."
from the halls of montezuma
to the shores of tripoli;
we fight our country’s battles
in the air, on land and sea;
first to fight for right and freedom
and to keep our honor clean;
we are proud to claim the title of
united states marine.
our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
from dawn to setting sun;
we have fought in every clime and place
where we could take a gun;
in the snow of far off northern lands
and in sunny tropic scenes;
you will find us always on the job —
united states marines.
here’s health to you and to our corps
which we are proud to serve;
in many a strife we’ve fought for life
and never lost our nerve;
if the army and the navy
ever look on heaven’s scenes,
they will find the streets are guarded by
united states marines!!! ooohrah."
27. best slogan i: "once a marine, always a marine"
28. best slogan ii: "tell that to the marines"
29. best slogan iii: "send in the marines."
30. best nicknames i: jarhead
31. best nicknames ii: leatherneck
32. best nicknames iii: devil dog.
trivia question: where did this term come from?
answer: the german army in world war i, whose soldiers’ greatest fear was running up against the toughest american fighting men, the marines. they called them "teufelhunden," or devil dog.
33. most remarkable airplane: the harrier. no other service’s jets can take off and land on a dime.
34. most dangerous airplane: the harrier. not a simple science, but luckily more of a danger to the enemy than to marine fliers.
35. you’re a marine. not a soldier or a troop.
36. that’s marines, with a capital m.
37. tradition! the corps is older than the republic itself!
38. marines symbolize: discipline, courage, honor, commitment, valor, patriotism, military virtue.
39. best recruiting gimmick i: those darn knights-in-shining-armor commercials.
40. best recruiting gimmick ii: "we’re looking for a few good men. "ok, they left out women. the corps is looking for a few good women, too.
41. best recruiting gimmick iii: "if you have the mettle to be a marine."
42. the commandant’s house. it’s the oldest occupied residence in washington, d.c.
43. chesty puller. you gotta love a service that has heroes with names like that.
44. former commandant and mud marine al gray (anecdote i): his official portrait, in cammies.
45. former commandant and mud marine al gray (anecdote ii): he drank from a four-star canteen cup.
46. former commandant and mud marine al gray (anecdote iii): business leaders are so impressed with his ethic and style, they’re using his fleet marine force manual 1, "warfighting," to hone their skills for board room battles.
47. unity. every marine is a rifleman.
48. the marine air-ground task force. marines attack by land, by air and from sea — simultaneously.
49. the "docs," — marines’ corpsmen-in-arms. they’re sailors, but they’re as tough as marines.
50. mud. you wanna see pure joy? look at a group of marines after a mudfight.
51. starch. clean ’em up, put ’em in starched cammies, and they look sharp.
52. poetry in motion. they’re weapons, not g-u-n-s. and if you don’t know the pithy verse that explains that, don’t ask us. we blush to tell.
53. point of the spear, out in front, kicking down the door. what the marines do best.
54. marine spouses. god love ’em. they have it then worst of any of the service spouses. they endure six-month deployments and one- and two-year unaccompanied tours. the ones who survive a career are as tough as the marines they married.
55. marine kids. god loves them more. they know the meaning of duty, honor and country at too young an age.
56. the air force. aren’t you glad you’re not an airman? they’re pampered, yet they still find time to whine.
57. the army. they get all the best equipment first and marines still do it better.
58. the navy. give them credit. they have it almost as tough as marines. but who wants to be a limo service?
59. the coast guard. tell the truth: if you couldn’t be a marine, would you be a coastie? in those powder blue uniforms? not on your life!
60. ch-46. say a hail mary and climb aboard. nobody makes ’em anymore, but marine ingenuity keeps ’em flying. and with a safety record that’s nothing short of a miracle.
61. the close combat manual.
62. leadership i. in the corps, e-3s and e-4s get to do more than most e-6s in other branches.
63. leadership ii. every marine above the rank of corporal can tell you what it takes to be a leader. it’s spelled out clearly and drilled in relentlessly. and it pays off under fire.
64. leadership iii. corporate america could — and does — learn from the corps’ leadership curriculum. all marines who enter the private sector take those lessons with them.
65. combat correspondents. they’re journalists in the navy, but in the corps, the job is combat correspondent, thank you very much.
66. marines do more with less, and they like it that way.
67. amphibians one and all. like the army, marines have tanks and armored vehicles. but theirs not only fight . . . they swim.
68. air power. when the grunts look to the sky for support, they see marine pilots, not zoomies.
69. style. nothing beats the canopy of sabres during a full dress marine wedding.
70. wetting-down parties. no one celebrates promotions with more flai rand admiration.
71. mess etiquette. enter covered and drinks are on you.
72. mess night i. those who make the most pay the most.
73. mess night ii. "1775 rum punch" — four parts dark rum, two parts lime juice, one part pure maple syrup. grenadine to taste.
74. non-comms rate their own ceremonial sword!
75. fighting style i. when the u.s. went into haiti, army soldiers sought cover behind their rucksacks. marines dug in!
76. fighting style ii. when the air force deploys, they carry their samsonite bags on luggage carriers and stay in hotels. when marines deploy, it’s two seabags and your weapons. and a tent in the bush.
77. fighting style iii. marines know how to use their bayonets. army bayonets may as well be paper weights.
78. no smiling in official portraits. all business.
79. terminology. in the corps it’s a "fighting" hole not a "fox" hole. fox holes are for people who want to hide. fighting holes are for people who want to fight.
80. the "people’s own" marine corps marathon.
81. when asked by the press, an overseas marine doesn’t say "i don’t know what my mission is," "i don’t know why i’m here" and "i don’t like it here." he knows. it’s his calling.
82. the "stumps." the combat center at twentynine palms, calif., is a huge sandbox in california’s desert. it’s where marines go to play warrior any time of the year.
83. best environmental motto: "we’re looking out for a few good species." they may be charging the beach, but marines are taking care not to step on endangered critters.
84. image. marines get real network coverage, not the kind you need a gridiron and an academy to get.
85. ah-1w supercobra gunships. they are lean, mean fighting machines.
86. the only combined arms force. you want jointness? the marine corps has been joint for decades, with its own air force, groundpounders and navy in one.
87. when the president cares enough to order in the very best, who’s he gonna call? not ghostbusters — but marines.
88. first in, first out. marines bust in first so the army can do its job.
89. when it absolutely, positively has to be destroyed overnight, the number may as well be 9-1-1. send in the marines!
90. boss’ night. every so often, the ncos or staff ncos buy the drinks for their charges at their club. can’t beat that!
91. physical fitness. you’ve seen portly chiefs, but there are no fat marines.
92. everyone’s a marine — officer and enlisted!
93. actor who should have been a marine: john wayne.
94. former marine who shouldn’t be an actor: john wayne bobbitt.
95. .50 caliber sniper rifles! ooohrah.
96. most stickers spotted on america’s highways on car bumpers and windows.
97. the summer evening parade.
98. "the president’s own," the marine corps band. john philip sousa, the world famous band master, was the first leader of the band.
99. value for your tax dollar. the corps does it all for less — just 6 cents of every dollar spent on defense goes to the marines.
100. best motto, semper fidelis, always faithful. that’s latin, by the way.
101. best twist on the best motto. semper gumby, always flexible. yeah, he was green, too.
102. best slogan i. "nobody ever drowned in sweat."
103. best slogan ii. "marines go where others fear to tread."
104. best self description. gungy
105. first in orbit. no, that’s not another gunny losing his temper. john glenn, that clean marine, was the first human to orbit earth. now he’s a senator.
106. marines are first on foot and right of the line. marines form at the place of honor in any naval formation. secretary of the navy bestowed that honor in 1876.
107. when the president climbs into a helicopter, he flies marine one.
108. most prestigious helo squadron. hmx-1, the president’s fleet.
109. when the navy needed someone to guard its ships, sailors and nuclear devices, they called on marines.
110. best personalized license plate i: "1775." it’s on the commandant’s car.
111. best personalized license plate ii: "sm of mc," sergeant major of the marine corps harold overstreet’s four-wheel drive chevy blazer truck.
112. the chief of naval operations rides in a lincoln town car. commandant gen. carl e. mundy jr. rides in a sporty chrysler lhs sedan.
113. when the nation goes to war, the press covers the marine corps. during the gulf war, there were more than 90,000 marines in the region of a total force of 650,000. but the corps outpaced the army, 293 to 271, on articles about the ground war in four major newspapers. as journalist and author john fialka put it: "if the pr rivalry between the two services. . .had been a basketball game, the score would have been marines 149, army 10."
114. best heroes i: smedley d. butler. with a name like smedley, he had to be tough, in self-defense. the army rejected him, but by lying about his age, he got a commission from the marine corps in 1898, at age 16. from the philippines to haiti, he was an expert in suppressing revolution. his blunt style was pure marine, and probably cost him a job as philadelphia’s public safety director after his first retirement and a bid for the senate after his second.
115. best heroes ii: chesty puller. it’s more than the name. he started in the corps with a reserve commission and was released in the draw down after world war i. he then enlisted as a corporal, served in haiti and received his second commission in 1924. he retired in 1955 a lieutenant general, the most decorated marine in history, and probably the most colorful as well.
116. best heroes iii: lewis puller jr., chesty’s son. he joined to follow in his father’s footsteps, lost both legs in battle, and went on to become a pulitzer prize winning author. he ended his own life this year, and he’s sorely missed.
117. best heroes iv: "manila john" basilone. a true gunfighter from the word go. the first enlisted marine in world war ii to be awarded the medal of honor. won it for his heroic efforts on guadalcanal. later killed on iwo jima, and posthumously awarded the navy cross.
118. all the marines who won the congressional medals of honor. there are 293 in all.
119. best greeting. semper fi, mac!
120. best show of pride. after the 1983 beirut bombing, marine corps commandant p.x. kelly visited a wounded marine in the hospital to present his purple heart. covered by tubes and unable to speak, the marine simply asked for pad and pen. on it he wrote: "semper fi."
121. best recruiting station: tun tavern, philadelphia, 1775. it’s a bar, no less.
122. only armed force with a beer named in its honor: tun tavern beer.
123. best description: soldiers of the sea.
124. best slang for a navy ship: lha — luxury hotel afloat.
125. best marine quote from the gulf war: "i sure hope the iraqis are good lovers, because they sure can’t fight."
126. best acronyms i: the meu (soc). say it out loud and it says what it means. sock it to ’em.
127. best acronyms ii: spie rigging. it stands for special insertion, extraction. it’s what they do when they’re saving the day.
128. hollywood loves marines. a few examples:
129. "sands of iwo jima."
130. "the wind and the lion."
131. "heartbreak ridge."
132. "the flying leathernecks."
133. "the d.i."
134. "death before dishonor"
135. and television loves marines:
136. "baa baa black sheep"
137. "gomer pyle, usmc"
138. "major dad"
139. heroes. the 40,000 marines who gave their lives on the fields of battle since the revolutionary war.
140. scarlet stripe on nco and officer trousers. they’re not just sharp, they serve a point: the stripes represent blood shed in battle.
141. the book of remembrance. stored at the post chapel at quantico, it lists the name, rank and date of death of all marines and sailors who served with marines and who gave their life in vietnam.
142. famous proverb. a young recruit asked the d.i., "sergeant, who carries the flag in battle?" the reply: "son, every marine carries the flag in battle."
143. the highest-ranking active-duty woman in the services wears three stars!! she’s ltgen. carol a. mutter, usmc.
144. notable quotable i. "a ship without marines is like a coat without buttons." — adm. david g. farragut.
145. notable quotable ii. when the marines found themselves surrounded by chinese troops near the "frozen chosin" during the korean war, a marine officer summed it up for his men. "good. now i can shoot in all directions."
146. notable quotable iii. "uncommon valor was a common virtue." —adm. chester nimitz, leader of pacific forces in world war ii.
147. notable quotable iv. "retreat . . . hell! we just got here." —col. wendell "whispering buck" neville, fighting in france during world war i.
148. notable quotable v. "come on, you sons of bitches! do you want to live forever?" — sgt. dan daly, world war i.
149. notable quotable vi. "the raising of the flag on mount surabachi means a marine corps for the next 500 years." — james forrestal, who was then secretary of the navy.
150. fleet submission i. "my 10-year-old is proud when he’s teased about his mother wearing combat boots" — anonymous marine mother.
151. fleet submission ii. "marine corps spirit and purpose define american resolve and intent." — carrol childers, a civilian employee at quantico’s amphibious warfare school.
152. leadership. the corps trains its leaders young and expects a lot out of them. and, gosh darn it, they get what they ask for.
153. fleet submission iii. "those hard charging ncos that have done so much with so little for so long." — capt. james lopez, quantico, va.
154. fleet submission iv. "the smell of gunpowder in the morning on the rifle range." — cpl. bradley cameron, quantico.
155. fleet submission v. "it’s my life." — gs-8 diane pierce.
156. fleet submission vi. "the feeling of belonging. whenever you go, there will always be someone you know, someone with something in common and someone willing to lend a hand" — anonymous marine.
157. fleet submission vii. "the corps is the world’s biggest fraternity. all our present and past members are, and always be, members of the semper fi fraternity. and unlike other fraternities, ours is open to women." — cwo mark roulette.
158. fleet submission viii. "knowing when you’re in need, a marine will be there." — ssgt. cheryl oban, quantico.
159. hollywood loves marines. (part ii: marines who went to hollywood).
160. don adams.
161. charlton heston.
162. bob keeshan (capt. kangaroo).
163. lee marvin.
164. steve mcqueen.
165. burt reynolds.
166. george c. scott.
167. gene hackman.
168. tax advantages i. vha & baq — your housing allowances — are tax-free.
169. tax advantages ii. you don’t pay tax at the exchange either.
170. marine wives. they put up with a lot but they have their limits. see no. 94.
171. fleet submission ix. "it is a family." — anonymous marine.
172. fleet submission x. "it teaches us to be strong people both mentally and physically." — cpl. maria retan, quantico, va.
173. fleet submission xi. "i love the marine corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past. after i have done what i can for the corps, i can say that i was a marine" — cpl. jeff sornij.
174. fleet submission xii. "the pride of going home on leave, putting on the dress blues and everyone knowing you’re a member of the world’s finest fighting force." — sgt. chase gilbert, laurel bay, s.c.
175. up-to-date fashions at overseas exchanges.
176. congress loves the corps. the congressional "mafia" of former marines now in positions of power or influence over the defense budget includes:
177. rep. ronald dellums (d-calif.). the chairman of the house armed services committee is sometimes lampooned as a dovish cutter of defense budgets. but he’s a former marine, too. and once a marine, always a marine, as the saying goes.
178. sen. john glenn (d-ohio), chairman of the senate armed services subcommittee on military readiness and defense infrastructure.
179. sen. chuck robb (d-va.) all right, he may not be reelected nov. 8.but if he loses, look who’ll take his place: republican nominee and retired marine, oliver north.
180. rep. john murtha, d-pa., chairman of the house defense appropriations subcommittee.
181. sen. john warner, r-va., ranking republican on the senate intelligence committee and armed service committee member who is a former navy secretary. he served in the navy in 1944-46, became a civilian, and thenwent back to do it right: he joined the marine corps and served from 1950-52.
182. other former marines in congress include: rep. lane evans, d-ill.;sen. conrad burns, r-montana; rep. gerald soloman, r-n.y.; rep. paul mchale,d-pa.; sen. john chafee, r-r.i., a former navy secretary; rep. arthur ravenel, rs.c., a house armed services committee member who is retiring; sen. jim sasser, d-tenn.; rep. frank tejeda, d-texas; sen. howell heflin, d-ala.;sen. dale bumpers, d-ark.; rep. matthew martinez, d-calif.; rep. al mccandless, r-calif.; rep. david skaggs, dcolo.; rep. dan schaefer, r-colo.;rep. andy jacobs, d-ind.; rep. pat roberts, r-kan.; rep. wayne gilchrest, r-md.; rep. thomas j. manton, d-n.y.; rep. amo houghton, r-n.y.; rep. austin j. murphy, d-pa. (who is retiring); and rep. craig thomas, r-wyo., a house government operations committee member.
183. and finally, pulling strings for marines behind the scenes on capitol hill are two marine-friendly power brokers: marine corps reserve brig. gen. arnold punaro, staff director for the senate armed services committee, and retired lt. col. p.t. henry, the staff director for the senate armed services subcommittee on force requirements and personnel.
184. global presence, global reach. as the hymn notes, so spread out are marines around the globe that some can watch the sun set while others are watching it rise.
185. despite their service to u.s. presidents, no marine has ever been a president. now that’s smart!
186. respect. the state department chose marines, not soldiers, to protect our embassies.
187. good taste in gifts. wanna know how much a marine missed his family during a deployment? check out the china and toys in his seabag on the return trip, and then look at his credit card bill.
188. the 1st and 15th of each month. gotta pay for those good gifts.
189. marines are winners. consider, for example:
194. belleau wood.
196. hue city.
198. leyte gulf.
201. iwo jima.
203. the officer’s sam browne belt.
204. top guns i: the marine corps rifle team. after a record-setting performance at the interservice rifle championships in july, the marine team blew away the 1,200 civilian and military rivals at the u.s. nationals in august. no doubt about it, marines are the best riflemen in the country.
205. top guns ii: msgt. donnie l. heuman. after 17 years of competitive rifle shooting, he took top individual honors at this year’s interservice rifle championships, shooting a record-breaking 995 out of a possible 1,000 points with 50 bull’s-eyes. his nearest competitor was nine points and 10 bull’s-eyes behind.
206. top guns iii: the marine corps pistol team. they won the u.s. national trophy six years running, establishing themselves as the champion to be beat. they were second this year, but don’t expect the trophy to stay in anyone else’s hands for long.
207. top guns iv: marine snipers. oneshot, one kill, one thousand yards.
208. the 174,158 men and women in marine corps uniforms as of oct. 1,1994.
209. top guns v: marine corps wrestlers and boxers. they don’t use weapons, and they don’t need them, they are regular medalists at the olympicgames.
210. navy chow. it’s better on the ship than in the field.
211. navy chaplains. you gotta love a man of the cloth when the cloth is camouflaged. one example: lt. cmdr. dennis rocheford, wounded twice in vietnam as a marine infantryman, is now a navy chaplain aboard the uss wasp.
212. mres. you hate to love ’em, but when you’re hot and sweaty and in the field, nothing satisfies like the beef frankfurters and beans.
213. the marines take care of their own. on the battlefield, nobody’s left behind — dead or alive — and the homefront is always secure.
214. commitment and devotion. "you gotta love it," says col. richard d. stearns, commanding officer, marine corps air station, beaufort, s.c."just liking it won’t get you through the day."
215. image. "i’m inspired by the integrity of marines: uplifted by the pride, focus, discipline, flexibility and motivation to do the right thing in the best way. i’m honored that, by service to the country, they are serving citizens like me. all this, and they are fun colleagues and co-workers." — jean forrest, civilian instructional systems specialist, marine corps institute.
216. the birthday ball i: the cake.
217. the birthday ball ii: remembering all those marines who gave their life for their service and their country.
218. the birthday ball iii: seeing who’s the oldest and youngest marine in your unit.