(excerpt from Warrior
Culture of the U.S. Marines, copyright 2001 Marion F. Sturkey)
The media in the United States began using this term
to describe U.S. Marines during World War I.
And, for once the media was right.
Marines have served in the vanguard of every American
war since the founding of the Corps in 1775.
They have carried out over 300 assaults on foreign
shores, from the arctic to the tropics.
Historically, U.S. Marines are indeed the first
a Marine, Always a Marine:
This truism is now the official motto of the Marine
Corps League. The
origin of the statement is credited to a gung-ho Marine
Corps master sergeant, Paul Woyshner.
During a barroom argument he shouted, "Once a
Marine, always a Marine!"
Woyshner was right. Once
the title "U.S. Marine" has been earned, it is
are no ex-Marines or former-Marines.
There are (1) active duty Marines, (2) retired
Marines, (3) reserve Marines, and (4) Marine veterans.
Nonetheless, once one has earned
the title, he remains a Marine for life.
The Chinese used this term to describe Marines in
China around 1900. In
the Chinese language, gung-ho means working
what the "American Marines" were always doing,
"working together," the Chinese explained.
The term stuck to Marines like glue.
Today it conveys willingness to tackle any task, or
total commitment to the Corps.
night, Chesty, wherever you are:
This is an often-used tribute of supreme respect to
the late and legendary LtGen. Lewis B. "Chesty"
Puller, USMC. Chesty!
Without a doubt he was the most outspoken Marine, the
most famous Marine, the Marine who really
loved to fight, the most decorated Marine in the history
of the Corps.
enlisted as a Private.
Through incredible fortitude and tenacity he became a
living legend. He
shouted battle orders in a bellow and stalked battlefields
as though impervious to enemy fire.
Chesty rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.
He displayed an abiding love for the Magnificent
Grunts, especially the junior enlisted men who did the
majority of the sacrificing and dying, and utter contempt
for all staff pogues of whatever rank.
During his four wars, he became the only Marine to be
awarded the Navy Cross five
Marines' Marine! "Goodnight,
Chesty, wherever you are."
Few Good Men:
On 20 March 1779 in Boston, Capt. William Jones,
USMC, advertised for "a few good men" to enlist in
the Corps for naval duty.
The term seemed ideally suited for Marines, mainly
because of the implication that "a few" good men
would be enough. This
term has survived for over 200 years and has been synonymous
with U.S. Marines ever since.