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Home News 10 things you didn't know about the Marine Corps

10 things you didn't know about the Marine Corps

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Nov. 10 is the birthday of the Marine Corps, first formed as the Continental Marines in 1775 during the Revolutionary War. Here are some things you may not know about the service branch.

1. The Corps’ first amphibious raid was only weeks after its creation; Marines successfully stormed a British weapons cache in the Bahamas. (via USO)

2. Marines often pin their next promotable rank onto their uniforms as motivation. They usually hide it in their cover, or under a pocket flap. (via USO)

3. Male recruits attend boot camp in one of two locations, depending on which side of the Mississippi they’re from. Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego is for West Coast recruits, and MCRD Parris Island (S.C.) is for East Coast recruits. Female recruits only attend MCRD Parris. (via USO)

4. The license plate of the Commandant of the Marine Corps reads “1775.” (via USO)

5. In 1798, the Marine Corps began issuing "one stock of black leather and clasp" to Marines. The item was worn to protect their necks when fighting with swords. Today, the standing collar on the dress coat of the Marine Corps uniform is a vestige of the “leatherneck” tradition. (via Mental Floss)

6. Ed McMahon, Drew Carey and novelist Robert Ludlum (who wrote the Jason Bourne books) all served in the Marine Corps. (via Mental Floss)

7. The first Marines enlisted at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, which is considered the birthplace of the Corps. (via Mental Floss)

8. “The Marines’ Hymn” is the oldest official anthem of any U.S. military service. (via

9. President Andrew Jackson (in office 1829-1837) wanted to abolish the Marine Corps, thinking it no longer necessary. (via

10. During the cake-cutting ceremony every Marine Corps birthday, the first three pieces are presented to the guest of honor, the oldest Marine present and the youngest Marine present. This tradition is also part of the Corps’ birthday celebration on the battlefield, if possible. (via We Are The Mighty)

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.