The Corps’ 243rd birthday is just around the corner, and the commandant’s birthday message may have some Marines reaching for the tissues.
The annual birthday message is a tradition birthed under the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John A Lejeune.
Most years the Corps posts a cheesy motivational video.
But this year’s message from Gen. Robert B. Neller, the 37th commandant of the Marine Corps, is a heartfelt reflection on what binds all Marines together and the hardships all Marines share.
Narrated by Neller, the message traces the individual development of a Marine from his early days to their first deployment and senior leadership roles that follow.
The message highlights the misery and difficulties that bind Marines in training and on the battlefield, the sweat and blood that is shed, and the challenges Marines must overcome throughout their career.
It’s a reminder that all Marines are the same, and the Corps has a job to do.
The video, as with previous years, also discusses the Corps’ historical legacy with a focus on the World War I battle of Belleau Wood and the entry of women into the Corps.
There’s also a shout out to the Corps’ latest Medal of Honor recipient, retired Sgt. Maj. John Canley, who was awarded the nation’s highest award for combat valor for his heroic actions during the battle of Hue City during the Vietnam War.
The Marine Corps celebrates its 243rd birthday on Nov. 10.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.