Corps’ new CMC issues 239th birthday message to Marines


Gen. Joe Dunford, the new commandant of the Marine Corps, is featured in a video message celebrating the service’s 239th birthday.

Dunford issued the message celebrating Marines’ Nov. 10 birthday the day after a passage of command ceremony during which he became the Corps’ 36th commandant.

This year’s message includes interviews with Marines from some of the Corps’ most brutal battles, from Pfc. John Lahm, who fought in the Battle of Peleliu during World War II, to Sgt. Maj. Bradley Kasal, who earned a Navy Cross for his role in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq. The Corps’ newest Medal of Honor recipient, Kyle Carpenter, is also featured.

In the video, Dunford speaks about the various missions Marines have been called on to fulfill around the world over the past year, from combat in Afghanistan to typhoon relief in the Asia-Pacific region and embassy evacuations in Africa.

“As we celebrate the 239th birthday of our Corps, Marines are in combat in Helmand province,” he said. “And since we last gathered to celebrate, Marines have responded to crises in the Philippines, South Sudan, Libya and Iraq. Some things change — this year found us in different climes and places than our predecessors. Our organization, our equipment and our training have certainly changed since World War II.”

Other things never change, he added, citing the ways by which today’s generation tackle challenges with the same courage, commitment, loyalty and sacrifice of Marines from past eras.

This year’s message also includes interviews with poolees who plan to ship off to boot camp and earn the title of Marine.

“Honor, courage and commitment means to me that I’ll be able to wear the title of United States Marine on my shoulders for the rest of my life,” said Charles Peterson, a poolee with Recruiting Substation Stafford, Virginia.

Retired Gunnery Sgt. Charles Setzer, who fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, said Marines he talks to today are as eager to wear the uniform now as he was then.

“That makes me feel good,” he said.

Happy birthday, Marines! And tell us what motivates you about this year’s birthday message in the comments section below.


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  1. God Bless you all. The memories of arriving at MCRD San Diego 53 years ago are still fresh; at the time I didn’t understand what a lifetime commitment it was. Although I only served 6 years active duty, I married into the Marine Corps as well. Semper Fidelis!

  2. Richard G. JIMENEZ on

    the one we wanted to win.
    But this time go for the
    win. Semper Fi .And happy birthday to the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. ON NOVEMBER 10TH

  3. Arthur P E Barbour SSgt Ret on

    Gen. Dunford, I wish you all the best in leading our Corps through these changing times. I have seen our change from wartime to peace (served 1967-1987) and have witnessed from afar the changes since 1987. I am confident that you and your staff will do the best job possible in leading us forward.
    Semper Fi and Happy Birthday to ALL Marines past, present, and future.

  4. God what a breath of fresh air fighting Joe is. Now I believe the Corps is in good hands and will be back on track shortly. Amos stunk up the Corps so bad it wasn’t even funny. Thank God he’s gone, good riddance Amos you did the Marines a huge dis service. I hope the door slammed you in the ass on your shameful way out. Semper Fi General Dunford…..

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