Nov 10 - Geezer's Blog - US Marine Corp Day

The Bottom Line: Learn more about the marines!

The Full Story:

  • Marines often pin their next promotable rank onto their uniforms as a motivator. They usually hide it in their cover or under a pocket flap.
  • The Marine Corps’ first amphibious raid was only weeks after its creation when Marines successfully stormed a British weapons cache in the Bahamas.
  • The Marines’ first land battle on foreign soil was in Libya, where 600 Marines stormed the city of Derna to rescue the crew of the USS Philadelphia from pirates.
  • Male Marine recruits attend boot camp in one of two locations, depending on which side of the Mississippi they’re from: Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego for West Coast recruits (which is a separate facility from Camp Pendleton) and MCRD Parris Island for East Coast recruits.
  • Female recruits only attend MCRD Parris Island.
  • Marines regularly train with their international counterparts from more than 15 different nations.
  • Marine recruits are finished eating the moment their drill instructor is finished. This is why Marines eat so fast.
  • The license plate of the Commandant of the Marine Corps reads “1775.”
  • Marines in uniform are not authorized to put their hands in their pockets.
  • Only female Marines are authorized to carry umbrellas in uniform.
  • The Marine Corps mascot is an English bulldog named Chesty, after Marine Lt. Gen. Louis B. “Chesty” Puller, the only Marine to earn five Navy Crosses.
  • Marines are often called Jarheads because of their high-and-tight haircuts, but some Marines take this cut to the extreme. Unauthorized haircuts include the horseshoe and the Mohawk.
  • US Marine Corps is older than the United States itself, predating the Declaration of Independence by a year.
  • A true hero: Jason Dunham. Back in 2004, this Marine Corporal was on patrol in Husaybah, Iraq. His unit was attacked and he deliberately covered an enemy grenade to save nearby Marines. When it exploded, Dunham was gravely injured and died eight days later. Shortly after his death, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lopez, Dunham's commanding officer, began the process of nominating him for the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest award for valor in combat. On 10 November 2006, at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, President George W. Bush announced that Corporal Dunham would receive the Medal of Honor, making him the second recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in the Iraq War and the first Marine recipient for actions since the Vietnam War. He has also had a destroyer named in his honor.
  • CNN medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta isn’t just a talking head – he saved a Marine’s life on the front lines after he was shot in the head during the opening days of the invasion of Iraq. Without proper tools, Gupta performed the brain surgery with a Black and Decker handheld drill. The Marine lived.
  • Funnyman and “Price Is Right” host Drew Careyserved eight years in the Marine Corps where he would tell jokes to his fellow Marines, jumpstarting his comedy career.
  • Three years after illegally joining the Marines at the age of 14, Jacklyn Lucas snuck onto a ship bound for Iwo Jima (the Iwo Jima campaign ran from February 19th – March 26th1945), stormed the beach without a rifle, and threw himself on top of two grenades to protect his team. He survived, and earned the Medal of Honor at the age of 17.
  • Who knew? Rob Riggle, (“SNL,” “The Daily Show,” “The Hangover,” “21 Jump Street”) is a retired US Marine Lt. Colonel, serving his country for 23 years – he has deploying to Kosovo, Liberia and Afghanistan.
  • During the Battle of Iwo Jima, Hospital Corpsman John Willis was treating a fallen Marine in a mortar crater when a grenade landed at his feet. He returned the grenade, followed by seven others thrown by the enemy in rapid succession, all while administering blood plasma. The ninth grenade killed him.
  • Carlos Hathcock, who had been dubbed the “White Feather Sniper” because of the feather he wore in his hat, was a Marine sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills (those were witnessed – Hathcock has his total closer to 300). One of his most famous? He shot an enemy sniper through the enemy’s own scope, hitting him in the eye and killing him.
  • Native Americans serving in the Marine Corps are allowed to use Peyote for religious ceremonies as long as they are not on duty or within 24 hours of being ready to ship out.
  • The Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War was lost due to Tootsie Rolls. A code reader mistook the code for mortar shells (“snacks”, they were called), and literally sent hundreds of crates of Tootsie Rolls to the marines who were out of mortar rounds.


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