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Marine Corps Must-Know Facts
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 Marines.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take our 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.


The Eagle Globe and Anchor (the EGA)

The origins of the eagle, globe, and anchor insignia worn by Marines can be traced to those ornaments worn by early Continental Marines as well as to the British Royal Marines.

In 1776, Marines wore a device depicting a fouled anchor. Changes were made to that device in 1798, 1821, and 1824. An eagle was added in 1834. The current insignia dates to 1868 when Brigadier General Commandant Jacob Zeilin convened a board “to decide and report upon the various devices of cap ornaments of the Marine Corps.” A new insignia was recommended and approved by the Commandant. On 19 November 1868, the new insignia was accepted by the Secretary of the Navy.

The new emblem featured a globe showing the western hemisphere intersected by a fouled anchor and surmounted by an eagle. Atop the device, a ribbon was inscribed with the Latin motto “Semper Fidelis.” The globe signified the service of the United States Marines throughout the world. The anchor was indicative of the amphibious nature of the Marine Corps. The eagle, symbolizing a proud nation, was not the American bald eagle, but rather a crested eagle, a species found throughout the world.

On 22 June 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an Executive Order which approved the design of an official seal for the United States Marine Corps. Designed at the request of General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps, the seal replaced the crested eagle with the American bald eagle, its wings proudly displayed. With the approval of this seal by the President of the United States in 1955, the emblem centered on the seal was adopted as the official Marine Corps emblem.

The eagle, globe, and anchor insignia is a testament to the training of the individual Marine, to the history and traditions of the Marine Corps, and to the values upheld by the Corps. It represents “those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past.” Said retired Sergeant Major David W. Sommers, “the emblem of the Corps is the common thread that binds all Marines together, officer and enlisted, past and present…The eagle, globe and anchor tells the world who we are, what we stand for, and what we are capable of, in a single glance.”

(The source of the above text is The National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center. To visit their web site, Click here...)

For Eagle, Globe and Anchor merchandise, Click here...


Marine Corps Seal

The Marine Corps Seal, designed by the Marine Corps Uniform Board in accordance with instructions of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, then General Lemuel G. Shepherd, Jr., was adopted by Presidential Executive Order 10538 of 22 June 1954.

The traditional Marine Corps emblem - eagle, globe and foul anchor - forms the basic device of the Seal. Of these three, the eagle and the foul anchor are the most venerable, dating from 1800 when they first appeared on the Marine uniform button - a button which has remained to this day virtually unchanged from its original form. Influenced strongly by the design of the emblem of the British Royal Marines depicting as their domain the Eastern hemisphere, the U.S. Marines adopted in 1868 as their emblem a globe showing the Western hemisphere. To this was added the spread eagle and foul anchor from the button. Twelve years later the motto, "Semper Fidelis," completed the design.

The scarlet and gold surrounding the emblem are the official Marine Corps colors. These in turn are enclosed by Navy blue and gold signifying the Marine Corps as an integral part of the naval team.

Reference Section
History and Museums Division
March 1998


"The Marine's Prayer"

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold. If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me with the light of truth and grant me the wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.


My Rifle: The Creed of a US Marine

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!

by Major General William H. Rupertus (USMC, Ret.)
(written following the attack on Pearl Harbor)


The United States Military Code of Conduct

ARTICLE I:
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

ARTICLE II:
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

ARTICLE III:
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

ARTICLE IV:
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmfull to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them in every way.

ARTICLE V:
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country or its allies or harmful to their cause.

ARTICLE VI:
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.


Oath of Enlistment
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
   
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