ANNAPOLIS, Md. (July 27, 2011) Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill team perform at the U.S. Naval Academy for the Class of 2015. Members of the Silent Drill Platoon are hand picked to represent the Marine Corps. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Runge/Released)
Nov. 10, 1775, marks the beginning of the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. To celebrate the Marine Corps' 241st Birthday, we looked at the top 10 things that make the Corps awesome.
1. "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." — One of retired Gen. James Mattis' rules to live by.
Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis addresses the audience during the U.S. Central Command change of command ceremony, MacDill Air Force Base Fla., March 22, 2013. Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class David Tracy.2. Knife hands. These are so sharp they could slice birthday cake.
3. Guns, shouting, battle rattle. Just another day at the office.
A Marine with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit conducts gun drills aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island on Nov. 3.Photo Credit: Cpl. Chris Garcia.4. All Marines remember that day when they finished the Crucible and earned the honor to wear the eagle, globe and anchor.
5. "We’re surrounded. That simplifies things." Marines are the heirs to the relentless grit and courage of Lewis "Chesty" Puller, who as a colonel led his forces in inflicting huge casualties against the encircling Chinese forces in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, for which he received his fifth Navy Cross. He retired as a lieutenant general and the most decorated Marine in history. Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, earned five Navy Crosses, but never received a Medal of Honor.Photo Credit: AP Photo/U.S. Marine Corps.6. The Ka-Bar is part Marine Corps, part Klingon, all bad-ass. Ka-Bar USMC Knife.Photo Credit: Rob Curtis/Staff.7. On Nov. 13, 2004, then 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal fought to clear Fallujah's infamous "House of Hell" and rescue Marines trapped inside. He was shot seven times by insurgents and took shrapnel when he used his body to protect a wounded Marine from a grenade blast. A picture of him with two Marines helping to carry him out of the house became one of the most iconic pictures from the Iraq war. Now a sergeant major, Kasal received the Navy Cross in 2006.
Navy Cross recipient Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal talks about leadership to hundreds of Marines on Camp Pendleton.8. Chuck Norris approves of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
Recruits of Papa Company practice sweeping their opponent to the ground July 1, 2015, on Parris Island as part of the Marine Corps Martial-Arts Program.Photo Credit: Pfc. Vanessa Austin.9. The Marine Corps offers even the most junior person frequent opportunities for face-time with senior leaders. Drill instructors from Fox Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, instruct a recruit to move faster at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Oct. 25. Photo Credit: Lance Cpl. Anthony Leite.10. "Are you allowed to eat jelly doughnuts, Pvt. Pyle?" When retired Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey played the drill instructor in "Full Metal Jacket," he inspired countless Marines to see if they are tough enough to make it through recruit training. The movie and his performance are indelible parts of Corps lore. Retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey takes a break for a smoke outside New River Air Station's Staff NCO club, in this May 15, 2006 file photo taken in Jacksonville,Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Daily News, Randy Davey, File.