On 10 November 1775, the Second Continental Congress established what was to become one of America’s greatest traditions. The signing initiated the founding of the Continental Marines, whose two battalions were to be led by Captain Samuel Nicholas. Although the Marines were disbanded after the Revolutionary War until 1798, this unit set the precedent for honor that the Corps still follows today.
With over two hundred years of experience and service, the United States Marine Corps has a wealth of tradition and customs that make it a unique branch of the United States military. Appreciation of this heritage begins during each recruit’s initial training, where they are educated on the history of the US Marines, its accomplishments, famous Marines, and its important customs.
One of the great traditions of the United States Marine Corps is the Marines’ Hymn, which was adopted as the official hymn of the Corps in 1929. Although the original author of the Hymn remains unknown, it is popular belief that the author himself was a US Marine during the 19th century. The lyrics of the Marines’ Hymn highlight key victories that were achieved in the Corps’ early history and outline the values and duties of each Marine.
Semper Fidelis… Always Faithful. This short but powerful Latin phrase sums up the entirety of the Marine Corps’ purpose. In 1883, The Commandant of the Marine Corps Colonel Charles McCawley adopted this phrase as the official slogan of the Corps. The slogan’s shortened version “Semper Fi” is also commonly used among Marines. “Always Faithful” signifies each Marine’s dedication and commitment to “Corps and Country,” which is a summation of all the Corps’ values.
Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. These three objects are combined to form the renowned United States Marine Corps emblem. Similar devices and emblems were used to signify the Marine Corps throughout its long history. However, it was not until 22 June 1954 when President Eisenhower issued an executive order that the seal with the eagle, globe, and fouled anchor became the Corps’ official seal. The following year, the same icon was officially adopted as the USMC’s official emblem.
These pieces of US Marine Corps’ heritage and still honored today by the actions and performance of Marines around the world. Whether they are conducting training, providing humanitarian efforts, or engaging the enemies of the United States of America, every Marine remains true to his or her oath and carries a sense of pride that cannot be felt be anyone else.