As I get the email messages, phone calls and FB posts celebrating the Birthday (more for the MC Birthday, than my own which is the 7th), I can’t help but realize how everything has changed to me.

The Marine Corps Birthday used to be about getting drunk in my Dress Blues, but now it has a somber overtone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had the upmost respect for the Marines who sacrificed everything for our country, but now it’s not just names and stories, its friends and brothers. These wars have made it much more personal for me. Burying some brothers in Arlington and watching others come home a shell of what they once were, hits me especially hard today. I’m truly humbled to be associated with this brotherhood and to have had the great honor to stand beside some of the most courageous Men that have ever worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Now, I know some of the Men that are guarding Heaven’s Streets.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

So, as we all celebrate our Birthday today, let us raise our glasses and toast all of the Marines who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this great Nation and our way of life.

Semper Fidelis

Kit Up! contributor Bill Janson is a former Recon Marine and is the founder of Eleven 10, a tactical gear manufacturer.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Len November 10, 2011 at 1:58 am

Cheers to all bro

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@gdubya5047 November 10, 2011 at 2:45 am

Thank you for this post. (I shared it on my Facebook page) Semper Fi, and Happy Birthday!

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Steven R. November 10, 2011 at 3:25 am

Semper Fi!

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Johnnie Markley November 10, 2011 at 7:39 am

OOHRAH! Happy birthday to all my brothers and sisters who has served this great organization past and present. I wish I was young enough to do it all over again. Again God's blessings be on all Marines this special day.

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Ben Pilley November 10, 2011 at 4:42 am

Finest fighting force the world has ever known? That is a serious claim to make especially when there are so many other regiments around the world with more prestigious records.

Why not show respect to others instead of the arrogant comment?

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Roy November 10, 2011 at 7:41 am

Don't mean to argue here, but can you name a force of equal size that is better?

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Brandon November 10, 2011 at 5:01 am

Ben-

This doesn't come across to me as arrogance and I'm Navy. Don't take it the wrong way as I'm sure Bill is just proud to be a part of the Marines and they are a damn fine fighting force. I slept better at night in Afghanistan knowing the USMC was standing security watch in the early days. Semper Fi!

Brandon

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Go Navy! November 10, 2011 at 6:22 am

I don't think Bill is being arrogant. I am sure Bill understands that every branch in our military is equally important and contributes in their own way to ensuring our nation's freedom and security. I think Bill is just proud being a "jarhead" just as I am proud to be a "squid" :)

Semper Fi to the all the Marines for their service and their sacrifices.

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jrexilius November 10, 2011 at 5:31 am

Semper Fi Marines! Happy birthday to the Corps.

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John November 10, 2011 at 5:36 am

Happy Birthday Marines…from a former Marine..Semper Fi

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0311 USMC November 10, 2011 at 5:51 am

Semper Fi, Devils!

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John 0321 November 10, 2011 at 6:03 am

Ben-
The South Pacific ,Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Bella Wood, Fallujah, Korea…just to name a few. US Marines have marched and fought in every major War since their creation and have bled more and sacrificed more than we will ever know. I know of no "regiment" that has done what the US Marine Corp has done, please enlighten me to what "regiments" you are referring to. I would like to research them. All over the world the US Marine Corp is one of the most respected fighting forces and most feared. Many countries have copied the US Marine Corps model as an expeditionary force for their county. Happy Birthday USMC and remember the fallen…

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Perry November 10, 2011 at 6:18 am

Once a Marine, always a Marine. Happy Birthday all….ooo rah!

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Reginald L. Chavis November 10, 2011 at 6:30 am

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters.Happy B-Day to the Corps.

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Achilles November 10, 2011 at 6:31 am

Like who? The Fighting Spoons of the 452nd?

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Achilles November 10, 2011 at 6:32 am

Happy Birthday Marines!

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gunslinger6 November 10, 2011 at 6:46 am

Happy Birthday Devil Dogs!!! Once a Marine always a Marine. Semper Fi

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agave November 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

(One of) the finest fighting force(s) the world, sounds better.

Happy birthday.

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C. Reyes November 10, 2011 at 6:49 am

Happy Birthday Marines! I'm a proud Marine Mom and a wife of a Marine Veteran. Oxnard Ca salutes You Marines. Thank you for your service.

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Roy November 10, 2011 at 7:40 am

Just thanked God that Truman wasn't able to end the era of the USMC before Korea – the Marine Corps has been an invaluable asset to our country.

Happy Birthday leathernecks!

And thanks to Kit-Up! for runnin this tribute!!

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Robert Novack November 10, 2011 at 8:08 am

God bless the Marines. You make us all proud.

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Counsel November 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

Happy Birthday… Yet, being proud of one's service does not mean one needs to cast dispersions on any other service. Whether or not he MEANT to show bias, the statement stands as written. I am SURE it was written to show his pride, but, again, pride in my service does not mean I need to minimize the status of any other group.

If the people who are Marines went Army instead, it would be who you appreciate? If you did not say "the men and women who serve," then you've missed my point entirely :) Just remember, the service does not take all who want to serve and excludes many who could contribute–this does not diminish their value either.

Just my 2 cents…

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Riceball November 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

It's about service pride, something that's ingrained into every from the day you first step into the recruiter's office to the day you leave active service in the Corps. Unlike other branches of service, the Army in particular, the Corps doesn't emphasize association with one's individual units as much as identifying/associating with the Corps as a whole where as in the Army they tend to (in general) identify with their regiments/brigades, or divisions more. I'm not saying one is better than the other but it's a difference in culture and given the Corps' storied history I think that we (Marines) have every bit to be proud and the Marine Corps Birthday is just and extension of that pride and is not meant to disparage any other branch of service but to emphasize pride in being a Marine.

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dustin November 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

y'all get your vagina's hurt way to much, Its the Marine Corps birthday, get over it. who cares if he seperates us from other branches.
236 years of tradition unscathed by progress
Happy Birthday Marines

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Mike November 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

Jeez…I don't know, there, Ben. How many of those "Elite Regiments" were at Khe Sanh? Ot Tarawa? Or Iwo Jima? Or the Pusan perimeter? Or the Chosin Resevoir? Or Hue, During the Tet Offensive? Today is the USMC's birthday, and, as a former Gator-Navy Sailor, I say to all those Jarheads out there: Hoo-Rah! Semper Fi!

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Martha Riveira November 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

Happy Birthday Marines, God blessing all.

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fact275 November 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

Semper Fi Bill

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Riceball November 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs! 236 and still going strong. God bless the Marine Corps and God bless the USA. Semper Fi, oorah!

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Lance November 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

Happy birthday to the best Infantry Riflemen in the world.

Hay wish the Army would follow your shooting skills and weapons. But I know you want to stay alone as the best. LOL

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Matt November 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

He wasn't trying to be arrogant or disrespectful. And by the way, having a "prestigious record" ins't everythig. It's about where you went and what you did, not the accolades you recieved for your actions. If you're in it for the accolades you're in it for the wrong reasons and you're in the wrong profesion. Pretty Simlpe.
Happy Birthday USMC!!

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Carl Weber November 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Actually while its the Marine Corps Birthday, they have not been in continues service for 236 years since they were disbanded for about 10 years along with the Navy.

In addition, the Marines didn't due much at all during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Two big fights that made and saved our Nation.

Other than that, Happy Birthday.

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Duke the Wise November 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Um, obviously they did not serve in the revolutionary war, there being no organized force to lead them or separate them from the Navy.

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small wars November 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

How about the Marine experience in the Phillipines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Mexico, Guam, Samoa, China, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic from 1898-1938?

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Duke the Wise November 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Lets hope they make it to 1-1-13.
Off topic, but whoever came up with the 2012 conspiracy was smart for he gave it years to fester and create controversy.

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0311 vet November 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Haters gonna hate.

"I know some of the Men that are guarding Heaven’s Streets."

As a Marine vet myself I take offense to this statement. I hope fallen Marines aren't standing post in the afterlife because post sucks and they have earned their downtime.

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kyle November 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm

bella wood…

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veronicascott November 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Thank you to all the Marines who have defended our country for the last 236 years, and their families! Happy Birthday USMC!

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major.rod November 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Personally as a former soldier I wish the Marine Corps and every Marine a VERY Happy Birthday.

I'll be happy to let Marines yell that they are the best. Every good unit I've ever served in believed that about itself. The Marines have a storied history and this day is a great time to revel in it.

The Marines may believe they are the best, God Bless 'em all! The Army has paid the lionshare of blood since our nations founding (over 800,00 dead or about 80% of the price). I don't believe soldiers should ever complain about having Marines at their side in battle, having a good time on their Birthday or saying they are the best on this day.

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Sboc November 11, 2011 at 8:38 am

I once visited the DAV Memorial near Taos, and I'll never be too busy to stop and shake the hand of a Vet. As a former IDF combat soldier, and proud wife of a US Marine who served from Vietnam through Desert Storm, I salute all of you who have served and still serve…I say still serve because Once a Marine Always a Marine is another thing that sets you apart (with all due respect to my brother who was Air Force, my father in Golani and my mother's family who spent four generations in the Navy). The USMC is not a branch of the Service. It's a Brotherhood, whose existence predates the founding of this Nation, and whose Code is burned into the heart of every Marine and is a part of his being from his "birth" on November 10th until he demands his rightful place in the World Beyond. Semper Fi.

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Dave Brown November 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Big ben up theres definately a web warrior

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john November 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

Didn't serve in the revolutionary war? We raided the bahammas and other islands capturing vital cannons, and shells. Participated in the battle of princeton. As well as manning the ships. I would love to know where you got this no leadership thing.

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john November 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

When people think of marines the think of beach landings. What they dont realize is that COIN has been our mission for much longer. Some of the greatest names of our Corps fought in these places.

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Ben Pilley November 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I took no offence mate, i was just curious as the to claim thats all.

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Ben Pilley November 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

as to the claim*

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Ben Pilley November 13, 2011 at 5:46 am

John0321 –
I shall enlighten you then.

Most regiments in tbe British Army, most regiments in the French Army, many in the German Army, Many in the Russian Army.

The Royal Marines & The Dutch Royal Marines for example are two of the most decorated Marine Corps in the world.

I could go into detailon the list but i could be here for a while, needless to say the list is pretty long.

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Ben Pilley November 13, 2011 at 5:47 am

detail on*

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