Today is my birthday!
Well, it’s not my birthday specifically, but rather the birthday of my beloved United States Marine Corps.
I assume many roles in my life: husband, son, brother, nephew, son-in-law, uncle, friend, and neighbor. But the role I am most proud to have had the honor of accepting is that of a UNITED STATES MARINE.
It’s been a while since I last donned that most recognizable of military uniforms or been addressed as “Sergeant Stub;” but the lessons I learned, the experiences I was afforded, and the connections I forged with my fellow MARINES are as strong today as the day I left active duty service to the United States Marine Corps.
Those of us determined, strong, and/or lucky enough to have earned the title MARINE hold the Corps in the highest regard. Being a MARINE isn’t a “job” or a “lifestyle;” it is a lifetime pledge to uphold the commitment we made to our beloved Corps, as well as to the MARINE brothers and sisters who paved the way for us, those with whom we served, and those who will follow in our footsteps to claim the title MARINE in the future. When each of us who earned the title MARINE took hold of our Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, we joined an unfaltering fraternity of brothers and sisters who over our 242 year history have comprised the finest fighting force the world has ever known.
Most who meet me for the first time find out quickly I am a MARINE (and just as quickly that I am fortunate and honored enough to have married a MARINE). There is good reason for this: being a MARINE is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. While I appreciate the personal and career accomplishments I have attained since leaving active service to our Corps, no title, promotion, or accolade I ever receive will live up to having earned the honor of rightfully wearing the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor that tells the world: “I am a UNITED STATES MARINE!”
Being a MARINE, I know I am assured of three things: I will ALWAYS have someone covering my six; I will ALWAYS do everything in my power to do the same for my fellow MARINE brothers and sisters; and if I ever see the scenes of Heaven, I will immediately be put on the watch schedule (most likely as the DNCO during a 96).
So on the 242nd birthday of my beloved Corps, I wish all who have ever earned the right to be called MARINE a heartfelt Happy Birthday!