Commemorating the 239th anniversary of the Marine Corps

Marines 239th Anniversary
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Commemorating the 239th anniversary of the Marine Corps
TRIANGLE, VA - NOVEMBER 10: A U.S. Marine holds a U.S. flag during a naturalization ceremony November 10, 2014 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. Service members, military veterans and civilians take part in 40 naturalization ceremonies across the country from November 7 - 14 to honor Veterans Day and become U.S. citizens. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Illustration of the Gadsden flag, designed by Christopher Gadsden and depicting a coiled rattlesnake on a yellow field, above the words Don't Tread On Me, ca 1776. It is believed to have been the first flag of the Continental Navy and US Marines. (Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images)
A painting depicting a U.S. Marine Corps Uniform and weapons during the Revolutionary War circa 1777. (Illustration by Ed Vebell/Getty Images) 
A painting depicting a U.S. Marine Corps Uniform and weapons circa 1835. (Illustration by Ed Vebell/Getty Images) 
1782:  Virginia State marines ready for a fight against Shawnees on the Ohio river.  (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1864: Washington, D.C. Six marines with fixed bayonets at the Navy Yard (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
8Th Avenue, Lady Marines Parading At The 8Th Avenue At New York In Usa (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
James Montgomery Flagg (1877 - 1960) was an American artist and illustrator. He is most famous for his war effort posters but he also work for magazines, did cartoons, and even paintings. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Heading into Battle  (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Ready: Join U.S. Marines  (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
circa 1943: A squadron of Marines smile while posing in uniform aboard a United States Coast Guard transport during World War II. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
US Marines write a message on the side of a bomb; 'To the warlords of Japan, we have not forgotten - the B-29's will remind you again and again and again', during the Pacific Campaign of World War Two, Saipan, circa 1939-1945. (Photo by European/FPG/Getty Images)
November 1943: A detachment of US Marines plough through knee-deep mud on their way to confront the Japanese on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1944: A painting depicting a U.S. Marine Corps Uniform and weapons during WW2 circa 1944. (Illustration by Ed Vebell/Getty Images)
Injured US marines of the 4th Division at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War Two, Japan, February 20th 1945. (Photo by US Marine Corps/Getty Images)
1944: US Marines sit at a table drinking coffee on board a Coast Guard assault transport, after fighting to take Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. The island was later used for US atomic testing. (Photo by US Coast Guard/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - circa 1944: Invasion 'Ambulances' Bring out the Wounded (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
At Naval Air Station Alameda, Marines parade before the half-master flag during memorial services for the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Alameda, California, April 15, 1945. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
circa 1952: Marine Sergeant Frank C. Trumble, (crouching) inspects the weapons of leathernecks as he walks between two rows of bayonet-wielding soldiers, Recruit Depot, Marine Base, Parris Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
VIETNAM WAR-25TH ANNIVERSARY: Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, carry one of their fellow Marines to the H-34 .while under heavy firefight with NVAs within the DMZ on Operation Hickory III, in Vietnam, 29 July 1967. AFP PHOTO/NATIONAL ARCHIVES (Photo credit should read NATIONAL ARCHIVES/AFP/Getty Images)
VIETNAM - DECEMBER 21: Helicopters drop a Marine detachment troop in the Danang region (South Vietnam) during a 'Search and Destroy' mission targeting Viet Cong soldiers. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
4th November 1968: US marines in the jungle during the Vietnamese War. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Express/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1970: A painting depicting a U.S. Marine Corps Uniform circa 1970. (Illustration by Ed Vebell/Getty Images)
336635 153: U.S. Marines prepare evacuation of american and vietnamese civilians while under Viet Cong fire in Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam, during the fall of Saigon, April 15, 1975. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Liaison)
A U.S. marine shouts orders to reporters and photographers to keep out of the premises as he advances with his comrades toward the destroyed building of the former American embassy 09 December 1992. The embassy was later reoccupied by U.S. marines. (Photo credit should read SOMALIA/AFP/GettyImages)
KUWAIT, KUWAIT - JUNE 7: A detachment of U.S. Marines, part of a 4,200 person contingent, arrives at Showeikh Harbor, five kilometers from Kuwait City, 07 June. The Marines will join with British and Kuwaiti forces for a weeklong series of air, ground and naval maneuvers in Operation Eager Mace. (Photo credit should read RAED QUTANIARQ/AFP/Getty Images)
289764 016: A marine covers his ear as the helicopter departs after deploying marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit December 20, 1996 in the Kuwaiti Desert, Kuwait. The US launched a month-long military exercise and marines moved directly to their operation base located 20 miles away from the Iraqi border. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Liaison)
303978 17: US Marine uses a telescope training with Jordanian troops May 31, 1997 in the Quatraneh Desert, Jordan. Operation Infinite Moonlight is one of many multinational training exercises developed between the US and Middle East allies. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Liaison)
FILE PHOTO: Two Marines wearing M-17A1 field protective masks man a fighting position on the perimeter of their camp while taking part in a training exercise during Operation Desert Shield. The Marine in the foreground is armed with an M-249 squad automatic weapon. (photo by DOD)
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - APRIL 15: Ariana Nelson clings to her husband Marine 1st Lt. Brian Nelson for a few final moments 15 April, 1999 as Marines from Marine Service Support Group-26 load buses to depart Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The Marines are being deployed to the Mediterranean Sea as part of the 26th Marine Expedition Unit. (Photo credit should read JOHN ALTHOUSE/AFP/Getty Images)
395297 03: Members of G Company, 2ed Battalion, Fourth Marine Division are loaded into an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) during combat readiness training, October 3, 2001 at Camp Pendleton, CA. AAV's transport troops over land or water. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
399340 02: U.S. Marine stand guard at the American military compound at Kandahar Airport January 8, 2002 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Marines will soon hand over control of the base to the U.S. Army who will help coordinate shipments of humanitarian aid. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
400553 04: Lance Cpl. Joshua A. Moose and his military working dog Hertha, show the strong bond between them during a break in training February 1, 2002 at the Marine Depot in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christopher A. Raper/U.S. Marine Corp./Getty Images)
FALLUJAH, IRAQ - NOVEMBER 22: Sergeant Kevin Boyd (Pittsburgh, PA) guards an alley corner, as US Marines of the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) company, as part of 1st Battalion 3rd Marines, search houses for insurgents on November 22, 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. US commanders hope that seizing control of the insurgent nerve center of Fallujah before January elections in Iraq will decapitate the anti-US rebellion across the country. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images)
FALLUJAH, IRAQ: A picture released 21 November 2004 by the Multi National Force-Iraq shows marines of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines battle insurgents in the streets of the devastated city of Fallujah, 50 kms west of Baghdad. The US military said that its forces and Iraqi troops had detained 1,450 people during the massive operation against insurgents in Fallujah. It also said few pockets of rebels still active in some areas of the city. AFP PHOTO/HO-MNF-I (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)
HABARADUWA, SRI LANKA - JANUARY 13: U.S. Marines take a rest from the heat after clearing debris from a damaged school January 13, 2005 in the destroyed town of Habaraduwa, Sri Lanka. U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit - Service Support Group from Camp Pendleton have come to Sri Lanka volunteering in the relief efforts from the U.S.S Duluth warship which is docked off the coast of Galle. Over 155,000 were killed when a huge earthquake caused a tsunami wave destroying everything in its path December 26, 2004. The powerful Asian earthquake has effected coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives in addition to the tourist isles of Thailand. There are thousands still missing in Thailand, mostly foreign tourists. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
SAQLAWIYAH, IRAQ - JUNE 13: A Marine from the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina wades through farmland June 13, 2005 in Saqlawiyah, Iraq. A detachment of Marines patrolled farm lands around their base, looking for insurgent activities and showing a patrol presence. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
FALLUJAH, IRAQ - AUGUST 15: U.S. Marine LCpl. Christian Salazar from Golf Company 2nd Battalion 7th Marines stands guard in front of the company's firm base August 15, 2005 in Fallujah, Iraq. Golf company is tasked with providing security in the southwest section of Fallujah. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FALLUJAH, Iraq: US Marines from Echo Company 2nd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment take cover from flying debris as they prepare to board helicopters to launch an operation, at their firm base in the restive city of Fallujah, 14 November, 2005. US Marines launched today a major operation in the Zaidon area southeast of Fallujah, aimed at detaining suspected insurgents and uncovering potential weapons caches. AFP PHOTO/DAVID FURST (Photo credit should read DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images)
FALLUJAH, IRAQ - JULY 2006: A US marine from Bravo Company rests in Fallujah. Fallujah continues to be a symbol for the Iraqi resistance, and is the most insurgent-hit city of Iraq, full of destruction, dust, and dead. Since the major US troop operations in 2005, the daily lives of civilians and marines inside the city have become a fight to stay alive. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Getty Images)
A US Marine soldier from C company 1/6 24 MEU stands alert during patrol in Garmser, southern Helmand Province on May 6, 2008 after the US Marine soldiers conquerred the village several days ago. Helmand, the main source of Afghanistan's opium output, is in the grip of a Taliban-insurgency launched after it was toppled from government in a US-led invasion in late 2001. Most ISAF soldiers in Helmand are British, and were joined by US Marines last week in a push to remove the Taliban from around southern Garmser district. AFP PHOTO/Massoud HOSSAINI (Photo credit should read MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Marines listen as President Barack Obama speaks at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Friday, February 27, 2009. (Photo by Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 21: U.S. Army Capt. Ed Arntson of Chicago, Illinois kisses the grave of Staff Sgt. Henry Linck, who was killed in Iraq in 2006, in Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. It took 1,300 soldiers, sailors and Marines about three hours to place a flag at each of the more than 300,000 gravestones at Arlington ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MAIN POSHTEH, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 02: U.S. Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. prepare to search a building during the start of Operation Khanjari on July 2, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of an operation to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MARJA, AFGHANISTAN - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. Army flight medic SGT Tyrone Jordan (C) of Charlotte, North Carolina, from Dustoff Task Force Shadow from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade gives first aid to a prisoner after he was shot by Marines during a morning firefight as Marine LCpl. Kristopher Brown of Fayetteville, North Carolina guards him aboard a MEDEVAC helicopter September 29, 2010 near Marja, Afghanistan. Task Force Shadow is responsible for evacuating wounded Afghani and Coalition forces as well as local nationals throughout southern Afghanistan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A US Marine from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines takes a rest during a patrol around the town of Musa Qala on January 18, 2011. The top US military officer said January 12 he sees an increase in bloodshed in Afghanistan as allied forces step up their offensive against the Taliban. AFP PHOTO / DMITRY KOSTYUKOV (Photo credit should read DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
US Marine from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Jimmy Carroll (L) and Afghan National Police (ANP) soldier Israyel Abdullah - both 22 years old - pose for a photograph at Musa Qala District Centre Base, Helmand province, on February 1, 2011. AFP PHOTO/DMITRY KOSTYUKOV (Photo credit should read DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
IRVING, TX - MAY 28: A U.S. Marine holds the flagstick at the 18th hole as Sergio Garcia of Spain lines up a putt during the third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas on May 28, 2011 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
DOVER, DE - MAY 09: A U.S. Army carry team salutes as the remains of U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. John Huling are carried across the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base May 9, 2012 in Dover, Delaware. Assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, CA, Huling of West Chester, OH, died May 6 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan after being shot by a person wearing an Afghan National Army uniform. Huling's death is still under investigation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
French Marine Cpl. Nicholas Foubert (center), an infantryman with the 8th Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, identifies cover and concealment to fellow Marines while taking enemy fire during a training scenario as part of Exercise Amercal 2012, at Marine Corps Training Area Bello, Hawaii, October 23, 2012. This photo won honorable mention, Combat Operational, in the 2012 Military Photographer of the Year photo competition. (Cpl. Reece Lodder/USMC/MCT via Getty Images)
US marines participate in an amphibious assault military drill as part of the annual combined military exercise Cobra Gold 2013 at a Navy base in Sattahip, Thailand's Chonburi province on February 14, 2013. Cobra Gold is a joint, multinational military training exercise that focuses on maintaining and improving military-to-military relationships among nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region including the US, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea and Malaysia. AFP PHOTO / PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL (Photo credit should read PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)
PARRIS ISLAND, SC - FEBRUARY 25: Female Marine recruits prepare for a swimming test during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Male and female recruits are expected to meet the same standards during their swim qualification test. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ROCKHAMPTON, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: A U.S Marine from Golf Company Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 looks on whilst participating in a live fire excercise on July 31, 2013 near Rockhampton, Australia. Over 30,000 US and Australian troops are participating in Talisman Sabre, a biennial excercise that enhances multicultural collabration between U.S and Australian forces for future combined operations, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 30: U.S. Marines hold up the American flag before the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils and Texas Tech Red Raiders in the National University Holiday Bowl on December 30, 2013 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)


On November 10, 1775, Philadelphia native Captain Samuel Nicholas formed the first two battalions of the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War after realizing the need for a group able to battle both on water and on land. That institution has transformed and evolved into the few, the proud: the modern day United States Marine Corps.

Monday marked 239 years since the creation of the Marine Corps, and it has grown from Captain Nicholas' initial two battalions to roughly 194,000 active members and 40,000 reserve Marines, though it remains the smallest branch of the United States Armed Forces within the Department of Defense.

The official title of United States Marine Corps was incorporated in 1798. The Continental Marines, as well as the Continental Navy, were temporarily disbanded at the completion of the American Revolution. The Marines in particular were reinstated in preparation for the Quasi-War, which was fought against Spain and the French Republic, and mostly at sea.

Since its creation, the Marine Corps has earned recognition by serving in the majority of American wars. Their well-known motto, "Semper Fidelis," often shortened to "Semper Fi," appropriately translates to "Always Faithful." Marines are capable of fighting via land, air and sea, and every member of the Marines receives additional training as a rifleman. The Marine Corps works closely with the United States Navy, as these two services make up the United States Department of the Navy.

Click through the slideshow above to see a brief history of the Marine Corps in photos, and as we commemorate this anniversary as well as Veterans Day, make sure to thank an active soldier or veteran in your life.

Editor's Note: The translation of "Semper Fidelis" has been corrected from "Always Loyal" to "Always Faithful."

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