A Few Reasons Why I Am A Marine

1) Best haircut

    Hands down! You can't have a bad hair day with a high and tight. And you spend less on shampoo.

2) Dress blues

    They're the coolest uniforms worldwide.

3) Bloused trousers

    Another distinctive Marine look that sets the proudest service members apart.

4) The rest of the Marine sea bag

    From the Alphas to camouflage utilities, uniforms just look better on a Marine than any other service member.

5) Marines don't wear dungarees

6) Most respect I

    When the Marines pulled out of Haiti and Somalia, the media reported the U.S. military was pulling out -- as if tens of thousands of Army troops weren't still in the country. Now that's respect.

7) Most respect II

    When the Corps came back to Haiti after 60 years, an old man on the Cap-Haitian beach said "Welcome back!"

8) Toughest mascot

    The Marine Corps' is a bull dog. The Navy's: a goat.

9) Esprit de Corps

   Even if you can't spell it or pronounce it, the Marine Corps has it in spades. One example: When sailors get tattoos, they do it to express their individuality, and their choices range from Betty Bop and Mickey Mouse to raging sea serpents. When Marines get tattoos, they do it to express their solidarity, and choose bull dogs, "Death Before Dishonor," and "USMC.".

10) Best war monument

    Iwo Jima

11) The Marines invade

    The Army has to do the occupying.

12) The silent drill platoon

    Just watching them ply their trade makes you want to wear dress blues.

13) Status

    Sailors live and work on ships. Marines go for cruises -- then hit the shore.

14) Best fast attack vehicles


15) Best fighting knife


16) Best duty assignments

    Okinawa, Kaneohe Bay, Camp Pendleton, Diego Garcia, Moscow, North Carolina. Plus any ship at sea.

17) Worst duty assignments

    Okinawa, Kaneohe Bay, Camp Pendleton, Diego Garcia, Moscow, North Carolina. Plus any ship at sea.

18) Most exotic duty assignments

    Kuala Lumpur, The White House.

19) Best phone number

    Call 1-800-MARINES and you've got The Corps. And if you're a civilian with the mettle to be a Marine, a recruiter there will be happy to sign you up.

20) Toughest DIs

    They're so tough that when the Navy wants to train its officers, who do they call? 1-800-MARINES.

21) Toughest boot camp

    When San Diego was still training Navy recruits, legend has it that recruits occasionally would jump the fence and accidentally land in Marine boot camp. The Marines would keep them a couple of days, and when the recruits were sent back, they were ready to be sailors!

22) Best motivational cry


23) Best emblem

    Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

24) Best campaign covers

    The Smokey Bear hat.

25) Separate heads for enlisted and officers

    Everywhere else, officers and enlisted use the same pot.

26) The only official, congressionally sanctioned hymn for any of the services

    "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 Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a 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!!! Ooh-Rah.''

27) Best slogan I

    "Once a Marine, always a Marine"

28) Best slogan II

    "Tell that to the Marines"

29) Best slogan III

    "Send in the Marines."

30) Best nicknames I


31) Best nicknames II


32) Best nicknames III

    Devil Dog... Trivia question: Where did this term come from?
Answer: The German Army in World War I, whose soldiers' greatest fear was running up against the toughest American fighting men, the Marines. They called them "teufelhunden," or Devil Dog.

33) Most remarkable airplane

    The Harrier. No other service's jets can take off and land on a dime.

34) Most dangerous airplane

    The Harrier. Not a simple science, but luckily more of a danger to the enemy than to Marine fliers.

35) You're a Marine

    Not a soldier or a troop.

36) That's Marines, with a capital M

37) Tradition!

    The Corps is older than the republic itself!

38) Marines symbolize

    Discipline, courage, honor, commitment, valor, patriotism, military virtue.

39) Best recruiting gimmick I

    Those damn Knights-in-Shining-Armor commercials.

40) Best recruiting gimmick II

    "We're looking for a few good men." OK, they left out women. The Corps is looking for a few good women, too.

41) Best recruiting gimmick III

    "If you have the mettle to be a Marine."

42) The Commandant's House

    It's the oldest occupied residence in Washington, D.C.

43) Chesty Puller !!!

    You gotta love a service that has heroes with names like that.

44) Former Commandant and Mud Marine Al Gray (Anecdote I)

    His official portrait, in cammies.

45) Former Commandant and Mud Marine Al Gray (Anecdote II)

    He drank from a four-star canteen cup.

46) Former Commandant and Mud Marine Al Gray (Anecdote III)

    Business leaders are so impressed with his ethic and style, they're using his Fleet Marine Force Manual 1, "Warfighting," to hone their skills for boardroom battles.

47) Unity

    Every Marine is a rifleman.

48) The Marine Air-Ground Task Force

    Marines attack by land, by air and from sea -- simultaneously.

49) The "docs," -- Marines' corpsmen-in-arms

    They're sailors, but they're as tough as Marines.

50) Mud

    You wanna see pure joy? Look at a group of Marines after a mud fight.

51) Starch

    Clean 'em up, put 'em in starched cammies, and they look sharp.

52) Poetry in motion

    They're weapons, not g-u-n-s. And if you don't know the pithy verse that explains that, don't ask us. We blush to tell you about it

53) Point of the spear

    Out in front, kicking down the door. What the Marines do best.

54) Marine spouses

    God love 'em. They have it worse of any of the service spouses. They endure six-month deployments and one and two-year unaccompanied tours. The ones who survive a career are as tough as the Marines they married.

55) Marine kids

    God loves them more. They know the meaning of duty, honor and country at too young an age.

56) The Air Force

    Aren't you glad you're not an airman? They're pampered, yet they still find time to whine.

57) The Army

    They get all the best equipment first and Marines still do it better.

58) The Navy

    Give them credit. They have it almost as tough as Marines. But who wants to be a limo service?

59) The Coast Guard

    Tell the truth: If you couldn't be a Marine, would you be a Coastie? In those powder blue uniforms? Not on your life!

60) CH-46

    Say a Hail Mary and climb aboard. Nobody makes 'em anymore, but Marine ingenuity keeps 'em flying. And with a safety record that's nothing short of a miracle.

61) The Close Combat Manual

62) Leadership I

    In the Corps, E-3s and E-4s get to do more than most E-6s in other branches.

63) Leadership II

    Every Marine above the rank of Lance Corporal can tell you what it takes to be a leader. It's spelled out clearly and drilled in relentlessly. And it pays off under fire.

64) Leadership III

    Corporate America could -- and does -- learn from the Corps' leadership curriculum. All Marines who enter the private sector take those lessons with them.

65) Combat correspondents

    They're journalists in the Navy, but in the Corps, the job is combat correspondent, thank you very much.

66) Marines do more with less

    And they like it that way.

67) Amphibians one and all

    Like the Army, Marines have tanks and armored vehicles. But theirs not only fight . . . they swim.

68) Air power

    When the grunts look to the sky for support, they see Marine pilots, not zoomies.

69) Style

    Nothing beats the canopy of sabers during a full dress Marine wedding.

70) Wetting-down parties

    No one celebrates promotions with more flair and admiration.

71) Mess etiquette

    Enter covered and drinks are on you.

72) Mess night I

    Those who make the most pay the most.

73) Mess night II

    "1775 Rum Punch" -- four parts dark rum, two parts lime juice, one part pure maple syrup. Grenadine to taste.

74) Non-Comms rate their own ceremonial sword!

75) Fighting style I

    When the U.S. went into Haiti, Army soldiers sought cover behind their rucksacks. Marines DUG IN!

76) Fighting style II

    When the Air Force deploys, they carry their Samsonite bags on luggage carriers and stay in hotels. When Marines deploy, it's two seabags and your weapons. And a tent in the bush.

77) Fighting style III

    Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper weights.

78) No smiling in official portraits

    All business.

79) Terminology

    In the Corps it's a "fighting'' hole not a "fox" hole.  Fox holes are for people who want to hide. Fighting holes are for people who want to fight.

80) The "people's own" Marine Corps Marathon

81) Knowledge

    When asked by the press, an overseas Marine doesn't say "I don't know what my mission is," "I don't know why I'm here," and "I don't like it here." He knows. It's his calling.

82) The "Stumps."

    The combat center at Twenty Nine Palms, California, is a huge sandbox in California's desert. It's where Marines go to play warrior any time of the year.

83) Best environmental motto

    "We're looking out for a few good species." They may be charging the beach, but Marines are taking care not to step on endangered critters.

84) Image

    Marines get real network coverage, not the kind you need a gridiron and an academy to get.

85) AH-1W SuperCobra gunships

    They are lean, mean fighting machines.

86) The ONLY combined arms force

    You want jointness? The Marine Corps has been joint for decades, with its own air force, groundpounders and Navy in one.

87) When the President cares enough to order in the very best

    Who's he gonna call? Not Ghostbusters -- but Marines.

88) First in, last out

    Marines bust in first so the Army can do its job. And stay late to make sure it's done right.

89) When it absolutely, positively has to be destroyed overnight

    The number may as well be 9-1-1. Send in the Marines!

90) Boss' night

    Every so often, the NCOs or Staff NCOs buy the drinks for their charges at their club. Can't beat that!

91) Physical fitness

    You've seen portly chiefs, but there are no fat Marines.

92) Everyone's a Marine

    Officers and enlisted.

93) Actor who should have been a Marine

    John Wayne.

94) Former Marine who shouldn't be an actor

    John Wayne Bobbitt.

95) .50 caliber sniper rifles!


96) Most stickers spotted on America's highways on car bumpers and windows

97) The summer evening parade

98) "The President's Own"

    The Marine Corps Band. John Philip Sousa, the world famous band master, was the first leader of the band.

99) Value for your tax dollar

    The Corps does it all for less -- just 6 cents of every dollar spent on defense goes to the Marines.

100) Best motto

    Semper Fidelis, always faithful. That's Latin, by the way.

101) Best twists on the best motto

    Semper Gumby, always flexible. Yeah, he was green, too.

    Semper Fry (Marines are always cooking something up!)

102) Best slogan I

    "Nobody ever drowned in sweat."

103) Best slogan II

    "Marines go where others fear to tread."

104) Best self description


105) First in orbit

    No, that's not another Gunny losing his temper. John Glenn, that clean Marine, was the first American to orbit Earth. Now he's a senator.

106) Marines are first on foot and right of the line

    Marines form at the place of honor in any naval formation. Secretary of the Navy bestowed that honor in 1876.

107) When the President climbs into a helicopter, he flies Marine One

108) Most prestigious helo squadron

    HMX-1, the president's fleet.

109) When the Navy needed someone to guard its ships, sailors and nuclear devices, they called on Marines.

110) Best personalized license plate I

    "1775." It's on the commandant's car.

111) Best personalized license plate II

    "SM OF MC," Former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Harold Overstreet's four-wheel drive Chevy Blazer truck.

112) Class Rides

    The Chief of Naval Operations rides in a Lincoln Town Car. The Commandant rides in a sporty Chrysler sedan.

113) When the nation goes to war, the press covers the Marine Corps

    During the Gulf War, there were more than 90,000 Marines in the region of a total force of 650,000. But the Corps outpaced the Army, 293 to 271, on articles about the ground war appearing in four major newspapers. As journalist and author John Fialka put it: "If the PR rivalry between the two services . . . had been a basketball game, the score would have been Marines 149, Army 10."

114) Best Heroes I

    Smedley D. Butler. With a name like Smedley, he had to be tough, in self-defense. The Army rejected him but by lying about his age, he got a commission from the Marine Corps in 1898, at age 16. From the Philippines to Haiti, he was an expert in suppressing revolution. His blunt style was pure Marine, and probably cost him a job as Philadelphia's public safety director after his first retirement and a bid for the Senate after his second.

115) Best Heroes II

    Chesty Puller. It's more than the name. He started in the Corps with a reserve commission and was released in the draw down after World War I. He then enlisted as a corporal, served in Haiti and received his second commission in 1924. He retired in 1955 a lieutenant general, the most decorated Marine in history, and probably the most colorful as well.

116) Best Heroes III

    Lewis Puller Jr., Chesty's son. He joined to follow in his father's footsteps, lost both legs in battle, and went on to become a Pulitzer Prizewinning author. He ended his own life, and he'll be sorely missed.

117) Best Heroes IV

    "Manila John" Basilone. A true gunfighter from the word go. The first enlisted Marine in World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Won it for his heroic efforts on Guadalcanal. Later killed on Iwo Jima, and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

118) All the Marines who won the Congressional Medals of Honor

    There are 293 in all (So far).

119) Best greeting

    Semper Fi, Mac!

120) Best show of pride

    After the 1982 Beirut Bombing, Marine Corps Commandant P.X. Kelly visited a wounded Marine in the hospital to present his Purple Heart. Covered by tubes and unable to speak, the Marine simply asked for pad and pen. On it he wrote: "Semper Fi!"

121) Best recruiting station

    Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, 1775. It's a bar, no less.

122) Only armed force with a beer named in its honor

    Tun Tavern Beer.

123) Best description

    Soldiers of the Sea.

124) Best slang for a Navy ship

    LHA -- Luxury Hotel Afloat.

125) Best Marine quote from the Gulf War

    "I sure hope the Iraqis are good lovers, because they sure can't fight."

126) Best acronyms I

    The MEU (SOC). Say it out loud and it says what it means. Sock it to 'em.

127) Best acronyms II

    SPIE rigging. It stands for Special Insertion, Extraction. It's what they do when they're saving the day.

128) Hollywood loves Marines

    A few examples:

129) "Sands of Iwo Jima."

130) "The Wind and the Lion."

131) "Heartbreak Ridge."

132) "The Flying Leathernecks."

133) "The D.I."

134) "Death Before Dishonor"

135) And television loves Marines

    A few examples:

136) "Baa Baa Black Sheep"

137) "Gomer Pyle, USMC"

138) "Major Dad"

139) Heroes

    The Thousandths of Marines who gave their lives on the fields of battle since the Revolutionary War.

140) Scarlet stripe on NCO and officer trousers

    They're not just sharp, they serve a point: The stripes represent blood shed in battle.

141) The Book of Remembrance

    Stored at the post chapel at Quantico, it lists the name, rank and date of death of all Marines and sailors who served with Marines and who gave their life in Vietnam.

142) Famous proverb

    A young recruit asked the D.I., "Sergeant, who carries the flag in battle?" The reply: "Son, every Marine carries the flag in battle."

143) The highest-ranking active-duty woman in the services wears two stars

    She's Maj. Gen. Carol A. Mutter, USMC.

    (Part II: Marines who went to Hollywood).

144) Don Adams

145) Charlton Heston

(I was informed that Mr. Heston was enlisted Army Air Forces during WW II according to his biography. He was a radio operator/gunner on B-17s)

146) Bob Keeshan (Capt. Kangaroo)

147) Lee Marvin

148) Steve McQueen

149) Burt Reynolds

150) George C. Scott

151) Gene Hackman

152 Tax advantages I

    VHA & BAQ -- your housing allowances -- are tax-free.

153) Tax advantages II

    You don't pay tax at the exchange either.

154) Marine wives

    They put up with a lot but they have their limits. See No. 54.

155) Up-to-date fashions at overseas Exchanges

156) Congress loves the Corps

    The congressional "Mafia" of former Marines now in positions of power or influence over the defense budget includes:

157) Rep. Ronald Dellums (D-Calif.)

    The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is sometimes lampooned as a dovish cutter of defense budgets. But he's a former Marine, too. And once a Marine, always a Marine, as the saying goes.

158) Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio)

    Chairman of the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on military readiness and defense infrastructure.

159) Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.)

    All right, he may not be reelected Nov. 8. But if he loses, look who'll take his place: Republican nominee and retired Marine, Oliver North.

160) Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.)

    Chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee.

161) Sen. John Warner (R-Va.)

    Ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Armed Service Committee member, and former Navy secretary. He served in the Navy in 1944-46, became a civilian, and then went back to do it right: He joined the Marine Corps and served from 1950-52.

162) Other former Marines in Congress include

    Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ill.; Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Montana; Rep. Gerald Soloman, R-N.Y.; Rep. Paul McHale, D-Pa.; Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., a former Navy secretary; Rep. Arthur Ravenel, R-S.C., a House Armed Services Committee member who is retiring; Sen. Jim Sasser, D-Tenn.; Rep. Frank Tejeda, D-Texas; Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Ala.; Sen. Dale Bumpers, D-Ark.; Rep. Matthew Martinez, D-Calif.; Rep. Al McCandless, R-Calif.; Rep. David Skaggs, D-Colo.; Rep. Dan Schaefer, R-Colo.; Rep. Andy Jacobs, D-Ind.; Rep. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md.; Rep. Thomas J. Manton, D-N.Y.; Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y.; Rep. Austin J. Murphy, D-Pa. (who is retiring); and Rep. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., a House Government Operations Committee member.

163) And finally

    Pulling strings for Marines behind the scenes on Capitol Hill are two Marine-friendly power brokers: Marine Corps Reserve Brig. Gen. Arnold Punaro, staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee, and retired Lt. Col. P.T. Henry, the staff director for the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on force requirements and personnel.

164) Global presence, global reach

    As the Hymn notes, so spread out are Marines around the globe that some can watch the sun set while others are watching it rise.

165) Despite their service to U.S. presidents, no Marine has ever been a president

    Now that's smart!

166) Respect

    The State Department chose Marines, not soldiers, to protect our embassies.

167) Good taste in gifts

    Wanna know how much a Marine missed his family during a deployment? Check out the china and toys in his seabag on the return trip, and then look at his credit card bill.

168) The 1st and 15th of each month

    Gotta pay for those good gifts.

169) Marines are winners

    Consider, for example:

170) Tarawa

171) Saipan

172) Guadalcanal

173) Tripoli

174) Belleau Wood

175) Chosin

176) Hue City

177) Peleliu

178) Leyte Gulf

179) Guam

180) Tinian

181) Iwo Jima

182) Okinawa

183) The Officer's Sam Browne Belt

184) Top Guns I

    The Marine Corps Rifle Team. After a record-setting performance at the inter-service rifle championships in July, the Marine team blew away the 1,200 civilian and military rivals at the U.S. Nationals in August. No doubt about it, Marines are the best riflemen in the country.

185) Top Guns II

    MSgt. Donnie L. Heuman. After 17 years of competitive rifle shooting, he took top individual honors at this year's Inter-service Rifle Championships, shooting a record-breaking 995 out of a possible 1,000 points with 50 bull's-eyes. His nearest competitor was nine points and 10 bull's-eyes behind.

186) Top Guns III

    The Marine Corps Pistol Team. They won the U.S. National trophy six years running, establishing themselves as the champion to be beat. They were second this year, but don't expect the trophy to stay in anyone else's hands for long.

187) Top Guns IV

    Marine snipers. One shot, one kill, one thousand yards.

188) Top Guns V

    Marine Corps wrestlers and boxers. They don't use weapons, and they don't need them, they are regular medallists at the Olympic Games.

189) Navy chow

    It's better on the ship than in the field.

190) MREs

    You hate to love 'em, but when you're hot and sweaty and in the field, nothing satisfies like the beef frankfurters and beans.

191) The Marines take care of their own

    On the battlefield, nobody's left behind -- dead or alive -- and the homefront is always secure.

192) Commitment and devotion

193) The Birthday Ball I

    The cake.

194) The Birthday Ball II

    Remembering all those Marines who gave their life for their service and their country.

195) The Birthday Ball III

    Seeing who's the oldest and youngest Marine in your unit.

196) And Here Are A Few More "Famous" Devil Dogs

197) Don Knotts

198) Ernie Harwell (Voice of the Tigers and Hall of Famer, served during WWII)

199) Ooh-rah!

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