The Marine Corps have been part of the naval force since the 19th century. All its traditions can be traced back to this time. It is through its fine traditions that the Marine Corps have become America’s most successful expeditionary force. Its customs and traditions reflect the Service, its values, mission, and lifestyle. However, some traditions have been lost along the way whereas others are being abandoned as time goes. Notwithstanding, it is necessary to keep the remaining customs and traditions by practicing them regularly. Practicing plays a significant role in preserving traditions. Besides, it keeps the name and dignity of the Service high. Customs and traditions have influenced the spirit of the Marine Corps for generations. Events like mess nights have contributed significantly to their spirit by ensuring commitment, honor, and courage to the Service. This report outlines some of the other traditions that need to be practiced more often; and that I would encourage as a keeper of traditions.
Many of the Corps’ traditions and customs are recognized through orders, ceremonies, and their history. Marine Corps traditions are categorized into three main divisions. In the Service, there are customs and traditions that relate to uniform, others employment, and lastly, there are some that exemplify mental, physical, and moral qualities of the service. Symbolizing employment are the Marine Corps’ hymn and the emblem. With courage, the Marine Corps are able to carry out their work. The emblem signifies their universal service. The hymn embraces some of the successful and important battles of the Service. The Marine Corps’ hymn can be traced back to 1919 whereas the emblem dates back to 1868. Both are important symbols of the US Marine Corps customs and traditions.
The uniform tradition is a reflection of the United States Marine Corps’ long history. The uniform of the Marine Corps is associated with the dress uniform, which resembles the blue jacket worn by the first Mariners. The blue jacket with red trims dates back to the 19th century. Also, the Marine Corps’ dress uniforms included leathernecks. The tradition of wearing leathernecks can be traced back to the first Mariners. However, much has changed with regards to the uniforms. Another most identifiable uniform familiar with the Mariners is the blue uniform. Recruits have inherited the blue uniform creating a strong connection between the old Marine recruits and the newcomers. The uniform tradition has been kept all the way despite the changes made to some of the uniforms.
Mess night is a borrowed tradition among the Marine Corps. The swords, motto, platoon drills, and ceremonies symbolize behavior, dignity, and courage. Old mariners used the sword as a weapon, but today’s Marine Corps use the sword as a sign of commitment and courage. The old motto emphasized fortitude among the old mariners. The current motto emphasizes the moral motivations and faithfulness of the Marines. The Platoon drills and ceremonies, on the other hand, emphasize discipline. They stress on the aspects of magnificence, value, status, and importance of the Service. Ceremonies like mess nights bring together the Mariners to honor those who perished. They are a key tradition identifiable with the Marine Corps. The culture of having ceremonies creates a secure connection between the old mariners and today’s Marine Corps.
These traditions are indispensable considering that they define the core values of the Marine Corps. Research indicates that the Marine Corps officers exude a lot of confidence. The traditions have influenced the spirit that allows the Corps to serve the country and the society well. Traditions are strong forces that have been driving the Marine Corps for decades to continually devise new techniques that have contributed vastly in the way they approach issues. Additionally, the make marine corps feel confident and courageous as individuals. Traditions have enabled the Corps to realize their significance in the society they serve. Traditions have been a major factor in influencing the discipline and commitment of the Marine Corps. Confidence is an indication that they are prepared for any responsibilities that may be bestowed on them. The traditions also enable the Service to trace their roots and development. Knowledge of history ensures full commitment and dedication. It helps to maintain discipline in the force. The more the Marines comprehend these traditions and development, the more they stick to them.
- Krulak, Victor H. First to fight: an inside view of the US Marine Corps. Naval Institute Press, 2013.
- Lewis, Adrian R. The American Culture of War: A History of US Military Force from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom. Routledge, 2014.
- O’Connell, Aaron B. Underdogs: The making of the modern Marine Corps. Harvard University Press, 2012.