Marine Corps Birthday Ball: Why It Doesn't Happen on Its Real Birthday
United States Marines celebrate their birthday every Nov. 10, but the Marine Corps' official birthday is actually in July.
The United States Marine Corps has a long and storied history, and every year on November 10th, Marines past and present come together to celebrate the birthday of their beloved Corps. However, many people may not realize that the Marine Corps' birthday was actually in July for over a century before it was officially moved to November.
The Marine Corps was originally established on November 10, 1775, in Philadelphia's Tun Tavern. However, it wasn't until July 11, 1798, that the Marine Corps as we know it today was formally reestablished under the Navy. From then on, the Marine Corps recognized its official birthday as July 11th for 123 years.
During this time, the Marine Corps saw action in conflicts such as the Quasi-War and the Barbary Wars, and also played a crucial role in protecting American shipping. However, it wasn't until 1921, when the 13th commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John A. Lejeune, issued a legendary order that the Marine Corps' birthday celebration was officially moved to November 10th.
This move set the tradition of celebrating the Marine Corps' birthday with a ball and solidified November 10th as the official birthday of the Marine Corps. This change also allowed Marines to wear the boat cloak to the ball, which was a welcome development for many.
The history of the Marine Corps is rich and complex, and the celebration of its birthday is a time-honored tradition that brings Marines together to honor their beloved Corps. Whether you're considering a career in the military, navigating post-military life, or simply interested in military news and updates, Military.com is your go-to resource for all things related to the military. Subscribe to Military.com to stay informed and connected with the military community.