10 November 2023
A MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
For 248 years, Marines have earned a reputation as the most disciplined and lethal warfighters in the world. This legacy of honor, courage, and commitment passed on to us was paid for in sweat, blood, and sacrifice. From Belleau Wood to Inchon and Tarawa to Sangin, Marines have stepped forward to defend our Constitution when others either could not or would not. Our history is filled with heroes like Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hershel “Woody” Williams, Private First Class Hector Cafferata Jr., Sergeant Major Dan Daly, and thousands of others who performed acts of bravery which went unseen in the heat of battle. We stand on the shoulders of these Marines, and we owe it to them to earn our title “Marine” each and every day.
Marines have given, and have been willing to give, their lives for Country and Corps in every fight our Nation has entered. Our actions turned back the tide of tyranny in Europe during the Great War, defeated fascism in Asia during World War II, fought for democracy in Korea and Vietnam, and offered the hope of self-determination in the Middle East. We go to war whenever our Nation calls, and in the interwar periods we train, we prepare, and we innovate. We have chosen a life of service and sacrifice — an honorable life that has meaning. We sacrifice so our fellow citizens don’t have to, and we seek nothing in return but a chance to be first to fight. Most will never understand why we choose to attack when others do not, why we revel in being covered in mud, why we snap to attention when “The Marines’ Hymn” is played, or why we say, “Ooh Rah.” We understand it, and this message is for us, for the Marines.
As Marines, we live on a war footing because someone must. This means that we ruthlessly adhere to our standards of excellence — Marine standards — as we know this will best prepare us for the wars of the future. Our high standards are a prerequisite of professional warfighting, and how we keep our honor clean in the cauldron of combat. They prepare us for the most difficult mission there is: fighting from and returning to the sea. Most importantly they shape our unique Marine culture which is respected at home and across the globe.
Sergeant Major Ruiz and I are proud of all that you have done this past year to protect and enhance our reputation as America’s best warriors. We hope you know that we will be with you every step of the way as we prepare for the fights ahead. We ask that every Marine – active, reserve, and veteran – honor the legacy of those who went before us by continuing to uphold our high standards.
Protect your fellow Marines and our shared legacy. Happy Birthday Marines!