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On November 10th 1775, “America’s 911 Force” in readiness, the United States Marine Corps, was born in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Every year, we as Marines, celebrate the birth of our Corps in respect to the war-fighting organization and legacy of the many generations before us. The Marine Corps is rich in history and tradition, which drives our war-fighting spirit, and admired heritage to the next generation of warriors. Passing the torch and entrusting the next generation to maintain and build upon our prestigious legacy that was paid for in blood and the many ultimate selfless sacrifices that have been made, is the reasons we celebrate the birth of our beloved Marine Corps. We pause, despite training evolution or location here at home, or thoroughly involved in kinetic combat operations abroad, to celebrate and honor our institution, our legacy, our heritage, to ensure our war-fighting ethos transcend well into the future. Our 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune said,  “Our legacy is the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation.”
As I personally celebrate my 20th Marine Corps birthday, and last on active duty prior to retirement, it is surreal as I look back on two decades of service and multiple combat deployments. Being able to put into words or attempt to comprehend the pride of being addressed as “Marine” for the first time, making Marines in both Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA as a Drill Instructor, leading Marines in the streets of Ramadi, Iraq, to the dirt of Sangin Afghanistan, the overwhelming intensity of a fire fight, and most importantly paying respect to the Marines, my brothers, I lost along the way. This birthday celebration is bitter sweet for me, as my active duty service as a United States Marine comes to an end, the torch has been passed and I am certain the next generation will only exemplify our already esteemed legacy.
Every generation of Marine wonders if the next generation can be entrusted with the security of our great Nation, and the legacy of our Corps. Years ago the Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal remarked “The American Flag atop Mount Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.” This is especially important as we look back on the battle for Iwo Jima and its 70-year anniversary, knowing that we are upholding the prediction and legacy set before us. Many years ago General Chesty Puller was asked what he thought of the new breed of Marines? He simply stated “New Breed, Old Breed, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s Marine Breed.” Happy 240th Birthday Marines, and thank you to all 0.5% of Americans that can call themselves “Veterans” for your faithful and selfless service maintaining this countries freedoms and pursuit of happiness. God, Country, Corps as always Semper Fidelis.
Respectfully,
Chris Carlisle
First Sergeant, USMC
Mighty Oaks Warrior Foundation,
National Programs Manager