Once a Marine - Always a Marine

Being a Marine is a state of mind. It is an experience some have likened more to a calling than a profession. Being a Marine is not a job not a paycheck; it is not an occupational specialty. It is not male or female, majority or minority; nor is it a rank insignia. Stars, bars, or chevrons are only indicators of the responsibility or authority we hold at a given time. Rather, being a Marine comes from the eagle, globe, and anchor that is tattooed on the soul of every one of us who wears the Marine Corps uniform. It is a searing mark in our innermost being which comes after the rite of passage through boot camp or Officer Candidates School when a young man or woman is allowed for the first time to say, Im a United States Marine. And unlike physical or psychological scars, which, over time, tend to heal and fade in intensity, the eagle, globe, and anchor only grow more defined more intense the longer you are a Marine. "Once a Marine, always a Marine."

FMFM 1-0 (page 7)

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