Your Marine Corps

Lt. Gen. David H. Berger will become Marine commandant Thursday ― on the Corps’ other birthday

Lt. Gen. David H. Berger will become the 38th commandant of the Marine Corps on July 11 — the Corps’ other birthday.

That’s right, the Corps actually has two birthdays.

The Continental Marines were established on Nov. 10, 1775, but on July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved “An Act for Establishing and Organizing a Marine Corps," according to a Marine Corps History Division article.

TIME magazine reported that Maj. Edwin McClellan recommended to then-Commandant Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune in 1921 that the Corps celebrate its initial inception as the Continental Marines as the Corps’ official birthday.

The Corps commemorated the July 11, 1798, date as the Corps’ birthday until 1921, according to

On July 12, 1798, following the re-establishment of the Marines, Adams appointed Maj. William Ward Burrows as the commandant.

Maj. Samuel Nicholas — who led the Continental Marines — is considered the Corps’ first commandant.

Berger will replace Gen. Robert B. Neller in a change of command ceremony being held at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Capt. Christopher Harrison, a Marine spokesman, told Marine Corps Times that Berger will pin on his fourth star on Thursday prior to taking the reins of the Corps.

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