The commandant has officially wished the Marine Corps a happy 240th birthday.
Gen. Robert Neller released a video message Oct. 23, ahead of the service’s Nov. 10 celebration, alongside sSergeant mMajor of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green at Marine Barracks Washington.
During Over the 10-minute video, Neller and Green appeal to the Corps to remember what it means to be a Marine, drawing a line from the first steps onto the yellow footprints to honoring those Marines who have come before.
"We hope each of you will have a chance to reflect on our history, remember those who sacrificed and reaffirm your commitment to the strengthening of our Corps," Neller said.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Parris Island, and the video opens with young recruits about to enter boot camp.
In overlapping sound biytes, they share their ideals of what being a Marine means to them, and a drill instructor affirms his dedication to sharpening them into new Marines.
"What made me want to be a Marine was being able to lead others, but also fight for my country, whether that be actually going into combat or just serving in a way that could help others," one poolee said.
Their messages reinforce the core values of the Marine Corps, which have endured through the ages.
The Corps has seen many changes over the century, Green said, "but one thing that hasn't changed is each Marine's commitment to contributing to our great legacy."
The video also honors this year's 70th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima and provides a retrospective of the Corps' history, including interviews with several Marine veterans of past conflicts.
In reflecting on this legacy, Neller invoked the 13th commandant of the Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune, who characterized it as looked at this as "the eternal spirit which has animated ourt Corps from generation to generation."
"I want to reinforce this point," Neller said. "You are the embodiment of that legacy; it's the very embodiment of who we are and what we will continue to be."
Neller concluded by wishing Marines a happy birthday, wherever they might be.
"We must remain ready for the next fight, wherever and whenever it is, and we must continue to uphold the legacy of those that have gone before, and we remain Semper Fidelis," he said.