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222 Reasons to love the Marine Corps

1) Best haircut. Hands down. You can't have a bad hair day with a high and tight. And you spend less on shampoo.

2) Dress blues. They're the coolest uniforms in any military worldwide.

3) Bloused trousers. Another distinctive Marine look that sets the proudest service members apart.

4) The rest of the Marine sea bag. From the Alphas to the camouflage utilities, uniforms just look better on a Marine than any other service member.

5) Marines don't wear dungarees.

6) Most respect I. When the Marines pulled out of Haiti and Somalia, the media reported the U.S. military was pulling out -- as if tens of thousands of Army troops weren't still in the country. Now that's respect.

7) Most respect II. When the Corps came back to Haiti after 60 years, an old man on the Cap-Haitian beach said "Welcome back!''

8) Toughest mascot. The Marine Corps' is a bulldog. The Navy's: a goat.

9) Esprit de Corps. Even if you can't spell it or pronounce it, the Marine Corps has it in spades. One example: When sailors get tattoos, they do it to express their individuality, and their choices range from Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse to raging sea serpents. When Marines get tattoos, they do it to express their solidarity, and choose bull dogs, "death before dishonor,'' and "USMC.''

10) Best war monument: Iwo Jima

11) The Marines invade, then go home. The Army has to do the occupying.

12) The silent drill team. Just watching them ply their trade makes you want to wear dress blues.

13) Status. Sailors live and work on ships. Marines go for cruises -- then hit the shore.

14) Best fast attack vehicles: LAVs.

15) Best fighting knife: Ka-Bar.

16) Best duty assignments: Okinawa, Kaneohe Bay, Camp Pendleton, Diego Garcia, Moscow, North Carolina. Plus any ship at sea.

17) Worst duty assignments: Okinawa, Kaneohe Bay, Camp Pendleton, Diego Garcia, Moscow, North Carolina. Plus any ship at sea.

18) Most exotic duty assignments: Kuala Lumpur, The White House.

19) Best phone number. Call 1-800-MARINES and you've got the Corps. And if you're a civilian with the character to be a Marine, a recruiter there will be happy to sign you up.

20) Toughest DI's. (Drill Instructors). They're so tough that when the Navy wants to train its officers, who do they call? 1-800-MARINES.

21) Toughest boot camp. When San Diego was still training Navy recruits, legend has it that recruits occasionally would jump the fence and accidentally land in Marine boot camp. The Marines would keep them a couple of days, and when the recruits were sent back, they were ready to be sailors!

22) Best motivational cries: Ooh-rah! - Attack! - Kill!

23) Best emblem: Eagle, Globe and Anchor. (Air, Land and Sea)

24) Best campaign covers: The Smokey Bear hat.

25) Separate heads for enlisted and officers. Everywhere else, officers and enlisted use the same pot.

26) The only official, congressionally sanctioned hymn for any of the services: "The Marines' Hymn.''

27) Best slogan I: "Once a Marine, always a Marine''

28) Best slogan II: "Tell that to the Marines''

29) Best slogan III: "Send in the Marines.''

30) Best slogan IV: "First to Go, Last To Know."

31) Best slogan V: "Marines can do lot with a little and everything with nothing."

32) Best nicknames I: Jarhead

33) Best nicknames II: Leatherneck

34) Best nicknames III: Devil Dog. Trivia question: Where did this term come from? Answer: The German Army in World War I, whose soldiers' greatest fear was running up against the toughest American fighting men, the Marines. They called them "Teufelhunden," or Devil Dog.

35) Most remarkable airplane: The Harrier. No other service's jets can take off and land on a dime.

36) Most dangerous airplane: The Harrier. Not a simple science, but luckily more of a danger to the enemy than to Marine aviators.

37) You're a Marine. Not a soldier or a troop.

38) That's Marines, with a capital M.

39) Tradition! The Corps is older than the U.S. Republic itself! (Birthday - 10 November 1775).

40) Marines symbolize: Discipline, courage, honor, commitment, valor, patriotism, military virtue.

41) Best recruiting gimmick I: Those darn Knights-in-Shining-Armor commercials.

42) Best recruiting gimmick II: "We're looking for a few good men.'' OK, they left out women. The Corps is looking for a few good women, too.

43) Best recruiting gimmick III: "If you have the mettle to be a Marine.''

44) The Commandant's House. It's the oldest occupied residence in Washington, D.C.

45) Chesty Puller. You gotta love a service that has heroes with names like that.

46) Former Commandant and Mud Marine Al Gray (Anecdote I): His official portrait, in cammies.

47) Former Commandant and Mud Marine Al Gray (Anecdote II): He drank from a four-star canteen cup.

48) Former Commandant and Mud Marine Al Gray (Anecdote III): Business leaders are so impressed with his ethic and style, they're using his Fleet Marine Force Manual 1, "Warfighting,'' to hone their skills for boardroom battles.

49) Unity. Every Marine is a Rifleman.

50) The Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Marines Attack by Land, by Air and from Sea -- simultaneously.

51) The "Docs,'' -- Marines' corpsmen-in-arms. They're sailors, but they're as tough as Marines.

52) Mud. You wanna see pure joy? Look at a group of Marines after a mud fight.

53) Starch. Clean 'em up, put 'em in starched cammies, and they look sharp.

54) Poetry in motion. They're weapons, not g-u-n-s. And if you don't know the pithy verse that explains that, don't ask us. We blush to tell.

55) Point of the spear, out in front, kicking down the door. What the Marines do best.

56) Marine spouses. God love 'em. They have it then worst of any of the service spouses. They endure six-month deployments and one- and two-year unaccompanied tours. The ones who survive a career are as tough as the Marines they married.

57) Marine kids. God loves them more. They know the meaning of duty, honor and country at too young an age.

58) The Air Force. Aren't you glad you're not an airman? They're pampered, yet they still find time to whine.

59) The Army. They get all the best equipment first and Marines still do it better.

60) The Navy. Give them credit. They have it almost as tough as Marines. But who wants to be a limo service?

61) The Coast Guard. Tell the truth: If you couldn't be a Marine, would you be a Coastie? In those powder blue uniforms? Not on your life!

62) CH-46. Say a Hail Mary and climb aboard. Nobody makes 'em anymore, but Marine ingenuity keeps 'em flying. And with a safety record that's nothing short of a miracle.

63) The Close Combat Manual.

64) Leadership I. In the Corps, E-3s and E-4s get to do more than most E-6s in other branches.

65) Leadership II. Every Marine above the rank of corporal can tell you what it takes to be a leader. It's spelled out clearly and drilled in relentlessly. And it pays off under fire.

66) Leadership III. Corporate America could -- and does -- learn from the Corps' leadership curriculum. All Marines who enter the private sector take those lessons with them.

67) Combat correspondents. They're journalists in the Navy, but in the Corps, the job is combat correspondent, thank you very much.

68) Marines do more with less, and they like it that way.

69) Amphibians one and all. Like the Army, Marines have tanks and armored vehicles. But theirs not only fight . . . they swim.

70) Air power. When the grunts look to the sky for support, they see Marine pilots, not zoomies.

71) Style. Nothing beats the canopy of sabers during a full dress Marine wedding.

72) Wetting-down parties. No one celebrates promotions with more flair and admiration.

73) Mess etiquette. Enter covered and drinks are on you.

74) Mess night I. Those who make the most pay the most.

75) Mess night II. ``1775 Rum Punch'' -- four parts dark rum, two parts lime juice, one part pure maple syrup. Grenadine to taste.

76) Non-Coms (Non-Commissioned Officers) rate their own ceremonial sword!

77) Fighting style I. When the U.S. went into Haiti, Army soldiers sought cover behind their rucksacks. Marines DUG IN!

78) Fighting style II. When the Air Force deploys, they carry their Samsonite bags on luggage carriers and stay in hotels. When Marines deploy, it's two seabags and your weapons. And a tent in the bush.

79) Fighting style III. Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper weights.

80) No smiling in official portraits. All business.

81) Terminology. In the Corps it's a ``fighting'' hole not a ``fox'' hole. Fox holes are for people who want to hide. Fighting holes are for people who want to fight.

82) The "people's own" Marine Corps Marathon.


83) When asked by the press, an overseas Marine doesn't say ``I don't know what my mission is,'' ``I don't know why I'm here'' and ``I don't like it here.'' He knows. It's his calling.

84) The ``Stumps.'' The combat center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., is a huge sandbox in California's desert. It's where Marines go to play warrior any time of the year.

85) Best environmental motto: "We're looking out for a few good species.'' They may be charging the beach, but Marines are taking care not to step on endangered critters.

86) Image. Marines get real network coverage, not the kind you need a gridiron and an academy to get.

87) AH-1W Super Cobra gunship. They are lean, mean fighting machines.

88) The ONLY combined arms force. You want joint-ness? The Marine Corps has been joint for decades, with its own air force, ground-pounders and Navy in one.

89) When the President cares enough to order in the very best, who's he gonna call? The Marines.

90) First in, last out. Marines bust in first so the Army can do its job.

91) When it absolutely, positively has to be destroyed overnight, the number may as well be 9-1-1. Send in the Marines!

92) Boss' night. Every so often, the NCOs or staff NCOs buy the drinks for their charges at their club. Can't beat that!

93) Physical fitness. You've seen portly chiefs, but there are no fat Marines.

94) Everyone's a Marine -- officer and non-commissioned.

95) Actor who should have been a Marine: John Wayne.

96) Former Marine who shouldn't be an actor: John Wayne Bobbitt.

97) .50 caliber sniper rifles! OOH-RAH.

98) Most stickers spotted on America's highways on car bumpers and windows.

99) The Summer Evening Parade.

100) "The President's Own,'' the Marine Corps Band. John Philip Sousa, the world famous band master, was the first leader of the band.

101) Value for your tax dollar. The Corps does it all for less -- just 6 cents of every dollar spent on defense goes to the Marines.

102) Best motto, Semper Fidelis, always faithful. That's Latin, by the way.

103) Best twist on the best motto. Semper Gumby, always flexible. Yeah, he was green, too.

104) Best slogan I. "Nobody ever drowned in sweat.''

105) Best slogan II. "Marines go where others fear to tread.''

106) Best self description. Gungy

107) First in orbit. No, that's not another gunny losing his temper. John Glenn, that clean Marine, was the first human to orbit Earth. He was also a former U.S. Senator.

108) Marines are first on foot and right of the line. Marines form at the place of honor in any naval formation. The Secretary of the Navy bestowed that honor in 1876.

109) When the President climbs into a helicopter, he flies Marine One.

110) Most prestigious helo squadron. HMX-1, the president's fleet.

111) When the Navy needed someone to guard its ships, sailors and nuclear devices, they called on Marines.

112) Best personalized license plate I: "1775.'' It's on the commandant's car.

113) Best personalized license plate II: "SM OF MC,'' Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Harold Overstreet's four-wheel drive Chevy Blazer truck.

114) The Chief of Naval Operations rides in a Lincoln Town Car. Commandant Gen. Carl E. Mundy Jr. rode in a sporty Chrysler LHS sedan.

115) When the nation goes to war, the press covers the Marine Corps. During the Gulf War, there were more than 90,000 Marines in the region of a total force of 650,000. But the Corps outpaced the Army, 293 to 271, in articles about the ground war in four major newspapers. As journalist and author John Fialka put it: "If the PR rivalry between the two services . . . had been a basketball game, the score would have been Marines 149, Army 10.''

116) Best Heroes I: Smedley D. Butler. With a name like Smedley, he had to be tough, in self-defense. The Army rejected him, but by lying about his age, he got a commission from the Marine Corps in 1898, at age 16. From the Philippines to Haiti, he was an expert in suppressing revolution. His blunt style was pure Marine, and probably cost him a job as Philadelphia's public safety director after his first retirement and a bid for the Senate after his second.

117) Best Heroes II: Chesty Puller. It's more than the name. He started in the Corps with a reserve commission and was released in the drawdown after World War I. He then enlisted as a corporal, served in Haiti and received his second commission in 1924. He retired in 1955 a lieutenant general, the most decorated Marine in history, and probably the most colorful as well.

118) Best Heroes III: Lewis Puller Jr., Chesty's son. He joined to follow in his father's footsteps, lost both legs in battle, and went on to become a Pulitzer Prizewinning author. He ended his own life, and he's sorely missed.

119) Best Heroes IV: "Manila John'' Basilone. A true gunfighter from the word go. The first enlisted Marine in World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Won it for his heroic efforts on Guadal Canal. Later killed on Iwo Jima, and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

120) All the Marines who won the Congressional Medals of Honor. There are 293 in all.

121) Best greeting. Semper Fi, Mac!

122) Best show of pride. After the 1982 Beirut Bombing, Marine Corps Commandant P.X. Kelly visited a wounded Marine in the hospital to present his Purple Heart. Covered by tubes and unable to speak, the Marine simply asked for pad and pen. On it he wrote: "Semper Fi.''

123) Best recruiting station: Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, 1775. It's a bar, no less.

124) Only armed force with a beer named in its honor: Tun Tavern Beer.

125) Best description: Soldiers of the Sea.

126) Best slang for a Navy ship: LHA -- Luxury Hotel Afloat.

127) Best Marine quote from the Gulf War: "I sure hope the Iraqis are good lovers, because they sure can't fight.''

128) Best acronyms I: The MEU (SOC). Say it out loud and it says what it means. Sock it to 'em.

129) Best acronyms II: SPIE rigging. It stands for Special Insertion, Extraction. It's what they do when they're saving the day.

130) Hollywood loves Marines. A few examples:

131) "Sands of Iwo Jima.''

132) "The Wind and the Lion.''

133) "Heartbreak Ridge.''

134) "The Flying Leathernecks.''

135) "The D.I.''

136) "Death Before Dishonor''

137) "Siege of Fire Base Gloria"

138) "What Price Glory"

139) "The Boys in Company C"

140) And television loves Marines:

141) "Baa Baa Black Sheep''

142) "Major Dad''

143) Scarlet stripe on NCO and officer trousers. They're not just sharp, they serve a point: The stripes represent blood shed in battle.

144) The Book of Remembrance. Stored at the post chapel at Quantico, it lists the name, rank and date of death of all Marines and sailors who served with Marines and who gave their life in Vietnam.

145) Famous proverb. A young recruit asked the D.I., "Sergeant, who carries the flag in battle?'' The reply: "Son, every Marine carries the flag in battle.''

146) The highest-ranking active-duty woman in the services wears THREE STARS!! She's LtGen. Carol A. Mutter, USMC.

147) Notable quotable I. "A ship without Marines is like a coat without buttons.'' -- Adm. David G. Farragut.

148) Notable quotable II. When the Marines found themselves surrounded by Chinese troops near the "Frozen Chosin'' during the Korean War, a Marine officer summed it up for his men. "Good. Now I can shoot in all directions.''

149) Notable quotable III. "Uncommon valor was a common virtue.'' -- Adm. Chester Nimitz, leader of Pacific forces in World War II.

150) Notable quotable IV. "Retreat . . . Hell! We just got here.'' -- Col. Wendell "Whispering Buck'' Neville, fighting in France during World War I.

151) Notable quotable V. "Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?'' -- Sgt. Dan Daly, World War I.

152) Notable quotable VI. "The raising of the flag on Mount Surabachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.'' -- James Forrestal, who was then secretary of the Navy.

153) Fleet submission I. "My 10-year-old is proud when he's teased about his mother wearing combat boots'' - anonymous Marine mother.

154) Fleet submission II. "Marine Corps spirit and purpose define American resolve and intent.'' -- Carrol Childers, a civilian employee at Quantico's Amphibious Warfare School.

155) Leadership. The Corps trains its leaders young and expects a lot out of them. And, gosh darn it, they get what they ask for.

156) Fleet submission III. "Those hard-charging NCOs that have done so much with so little for so long.'' -- Capt. James Lopez, Quantico, Va.

157) Fleet submission IV. "The smell of gunpowder in the morning on the rifle range.'' -- Cpl. Bradley Cameron, Quantico.

158) Fleet submission V. "It's my life.'' -- GS-8 Diane Pierce.

159) Fleet submission VI. "The feeling of belonging. Whenever you go, there will always be someone you know, someone with something in common and someone willing to lend a hand'' -- anonymous Marine.

160) Fleet submission VII. "The Corps is the world's biggest fraternity. All our present and past members are, and always be, members of the Semper Fi fraternity. And unlike other fraternities, ours is open to women.'' -- CWO Mark Roulette.

161) Fleet submission VIII. "Knowing when you're in need, a Marine will be there.''-- SSgt. Cheryl Oban, Quantico.

162) Hollywood loves Marines. (Part II: Marines who went to Hollywood).

163) Don Adams.

164) Charlton Heston.

165) Bob Keeshan (Capt. Kangaroo).

166) Lee Marvin.

167) Steve McQueen.

168) R. Lee Ermey.

169) George C. Scott.

170) Gene Hackman.

171) Tax advantages I. VHA & BAQ -- your housing allowances -- are tax-free.

172) Tax advantages II. You don't pay tax at the exchange either.

173) Fleet submission IX. "It is a family.'' -- anonymous Marine.

174) Fleet submission X. "It teaches us to be strong people both mentally and physically.'' -- Cpl. Maria Retan, Quantico, Va.


175) Fleet submission XI. "I love the Marine Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: Pride, honor, integrity and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past. After I have done what I can for the Corps, I can say that I was a Marine'' -- Cpl. Jeff Sornij.

176) Fleet submission XII. "The pride of going home on leave, putting on the dress blues and everyone knowing you're a member of the world's finest fighting force.'' -- Sgt. Chase Gilbert, Laurel Bay, S.C.

177) Up-to-date fashions at overseas Exchanges.

178) Global presence, global reach. As the Hymn notes, so spread out are Marines around the globe that some can watch the sun set while others are watching it rise.

179) Respect. The State Department chose Marines, not soldiers, to protect our embassies.

180) Good taste in gifts. Wanna know how much a Marine missed his family during a deployment? Check out the china and toys in his seabag on the return trip, and then look at his credit card bill.

181) Marines are winners. Consider, for example:

182) Tarawa.

183) Saipan.

184) Guadal Canal.

185) Tripoli.

186) Belleau Wood.

187) Chosin Reservoir.

188) Hue City.

189) Peleliu.

190) Leyte Gulf.

191) Guam.

192) Tinian.

193) Iwo Jima.

194) Okinawa.

195) Khe Sahn.

196) Wake Island.

197) Haiti.

198) Somalia.

199) Dominican Republic.

200) Bosnia-Herzegovina.

201) Kosovo.

202) East Timor.

203) Kuwait

204) Chapultepec

205) Guantanamo Bay

206) Vera Cruz

207) New Orleans (1815)

208) Nicaragua

209) Fort Fisher

210) Bahamas

211) The Officer's Sam Browne Belt.

212) Top Guns: Marine Snipers. One shot, one kill, one thousand yards.

213) Top Guns II: Marine Corps wrestlers and boxers. They don't use weapons, and they don't need them, they are regular medallist at the Olympic Games.

214) The Marines take care of their own. On the battlefield, nobody's left behind -- dead or alive -- and the home front is always secure.

215) Commitment and devotion. ``You gotta love it,'' says Col. Richard D. Stearns, commanding officer, Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. ``Just liking it won't get you through the day.''

216) Image. "I'm inspired by the integrity of Marines: uplifted by the pride, focus, discipline, flexibility and motivation to do the right thing in the best way. I'm honored that, by service to the country, they are serving citizens like me. All this, and they are fun colleagues and co-workers.'' -- Jean Forrest, civilian instructional systems specialist, Marine Corps Institute.

217) The Birthday Ball I: The cake.

218) The Birthday Ball II: Remembering all those Marines who gave their life for their service and their country.

219) The Birthday Ball III: Seeing who's the oldest and youngest Marine in your unit.

220) The Birthday Ball IV: The Beer, Steaks and Lobster served at the Chow Hall every 10 November - Worldwide.

221) The MARINES are the only branch of the United States Military that can be DEPLOYED to a "HOT ZONE" * Without * Congressional approval. Short and sweet, the President has 90 days to use the MARINES without approval from Congress. Hence the famous slogan; "First to Go, Last To Know."

222) The Ultimate solution when Diplomacy Fails: The United States Marine Corps.





July 18, 2001