Marine Corps Birthday

SOUTHEAST IDAHO– Local southeast Idaho Marines and military heroes have a proud place among the public. Blackfoot recently broke ground for the upcoming Veterans Cemetery, as well as supporting numerous veterans associations for those in need. Even though there are hundreds of veterans who come home every month of the year, without a sense of hoopla, the month of November tries to push that honor to the forefront. By honoring those veterans who have gone before, fighting abroad, as well as those who have come home and are dealing with being a civilian again. The American Legion is putting together a celebration on November 10, which is the 244 birthday of the Marine Corps. All members of the military are invited to attend in their dress blues, or equivalent service uniforms. 

The Marine Corps has been an integral part of American history. They were formed in the early days of the Americas and on November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress ordered two battalions of Marines be raise for serve as landing forces with the fleet (for the mainlanders a battalion is usually 300 to 800 soldiers divided into companies). The Marines have participated in all wars of the United States, usually being the first or among the first to fight. They didn't become officially "United States Marines" until 1794 when Congress formed the Navy. The early fights in the Revolutionary War were mostly battles on land, but by the time the War of 1812 and Barbary Wars, the Marines were mainly aquatic battles on ships. The first six decades of the Marines, there was rarely a fluctuation of 1,000 members. The commandants tended to keep expenditures low, but the Marines continued to gain battle prestige. The Marine Band was exceedingly popular and endeared them to the public. Though their record wasn't perfect, their reactions were positive. The endearing qualities that have continued to this day are courage and resourcefulness in battle, readiness for war at a moment's notice, miserly regard for publics tax dollars, a sense of pomp and pageantry, and determination to perform whatever service was most needed without regard for formal roles or missions. 

As the years continued on, the Marine Corps gained significance around the world in the missions they have been a part of. The three primary areas that the Marine Corps are responsible for are: seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns, development of tactics, technique, and equipment used by amphibious landing forces in coordination with the Arm and Air Force, such other duties as the President or Department of Defense may direct. The Marines served in numerous altercations across history. They were in World War I and entered the war with 511 officers and 13,214 enlisted personnel. By 1918 they received an influx of officers and enlisted men to push them to 2,400 officers and 70,000 enlisted. The first female marine was Opha May Johnson and served in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1918 during the war. She led the way for 305 enlisted women into the corps by the end of World War I. 

The Marines were a central part of the Pacific War battles of World War II including Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Cape Glouchester, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa including a fierce battle between the Marines and Imperial Japanese Army. Iwo Jima was one of the most famous engagements of the Marines. As battles have continued, newer Naval attachments have been added, including Seabees, Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Ground Combat Forces, Aviation Combat Elements, Logistics Combat Element, and Command Element. Even though the Marines have been a part of numerous joint operations across the globe, they do not like to rely on sister services or joint operations in general. 

Their extensive history proves the Marine Corps has been and will always be a big part of American history. The Military is an honorable profession and the upcoming Marine Corps birthday celebration, coming up at the Clarion Inn in Pocatello, asks all members of the military to join in the fun, not just Marines, to come in their dress blues or equivalent service uniform. This celebration will be on November 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 P.M. Tickets are $25 for individuals and $50 for a couple, at the door. There is no charge for Widows of Marines and FMF Corpsman. Dinner options are rib eye steak or herb crusted chicken breast and coconut prawns. RSVP no later than Monday, November 4 with number of people attending and meal of choice. Contact Stan Brangham at 208-237-3607, Ron Tapia at 208-251-3364, or Darin Letzring at 208-705-7718. 

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