Dear Army: Why Isn’t our Birthday Cool Like the Corps’?

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I’m a proud Army wife, so I know when Army people get excited about stuff.

Examples of things that are a big deal to Army folks: no longer wearing the beret all the time, the move to nine month deployments, the time one of our unit’s majors punched one of the colonels in the face.

Example of something that do not seem to be a big deal: the Army’s birthday.

This week is the Army’s 237th birthday. That was news to me. Why? Because no one invited me to an Army birthday party. No one offered to feed me Army birthday cake. And if they sing “Happy Birthday, dear Army” I’ve certainly never been a part of it.

One of the fancy things about SpouseBuzz is that I get to hang out (at least virtually) with people from all five military branches – including the Marine Corps. And I’ve noticed something about those Marine Corps types: their service birthday, which is in November, is a huge – and I mean HUGE – deal.

They have a party. The spouses get to buy and wear a fancy dress to the birthday ball. They eat cake. And I’m not entirely sure about this, but there might even be singing.

Why don’t we get to sing?

Now, I know the Army hosts a birthday ball here and there across the country. Extra important people get to attend and wear their fancy clothes.  But I am not extra important. And I have never been to such a shindig.

But in the Marine Corps you don’t have to be at all special or anywhere near sober to attend the party. You just have to be interested.

In High School only the really cool kids got mega parties thrown for their birthdays every year. And since the whole world is a microcosm of High School I wanna know – is the Army just not as cool as the Marine Corps? What’s the deal, Army folks?

P.S. My husband just informed me that the Army’s birthday IS a big deal. “If there wasn’t an Army birthday there would be NO AMERICA,” he says.  (I’m not entirely sure what his point is with that). OK. So why don’t we get to party?!

Update:

See this thing these good looking folks are standing in front of? That would be a TANK made up of CUPCAKES. And that is cool. A cupcake tank? Common. Top that, Leathernecks! Now, as MANSpouse Wayne would say, go make us a sammich.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

59 Comments on "Dear Army: Why Isn’t our Birthday Cool Like the Corps’?"

  1. SemperSteen | June 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

    "the time one of our unit’s majors punched one of the colonels in the face."

    Pictures or it didn't happen.

  2. Because our Chain of Command & unit Commanders don't observe tradions as they should, we have units I. E.: 1st ID, 3rd ID, & 2nd ID That have more battle Honors than the whole usmc, but the mc didn't get big time until WW1 before that they were sea goin MPs that had captured John Brown, only cause they were commanded by an Army Officer, Col. Robert E. Lee, anyway blame it on leadership & its a damn shame, I reckon the Leaders are to worried about their careers.

  3. Semper fi | June 12, 2012 at 8:30 am |

    We are a Corps of traditions. Every day we are reminded of how big the shoes are that we walk in. I don’t think the other services teach (indoctrinate :-) ) the history like the Corps does. And when it’s just you and your buds way the hell out there with little or no support, you remember that you aren’t the first Marines that have done that. Like I said….some big shoes to fill….

    And of course any reason to party !!!
    Semper fi

  4. armywife&civilian | June 12, 2012 at 8:55 am |

    Anyone can get registered to attend the Army's birthday ball. Tickets do go fast, however, so you have to be ready to purchase when it's released. This year they announced through their Facebook. Usually the local garrison hosts Army birthday events that not only the Soldiers, spouses and civilian employees are invited to join in, but also the community. We don't sing happy birthday Army, but we do take pride in singing the Army song for this occasion. :)

  5. Why cuz Marines are the "cool kids"

  6. Carl Milkowski | June 12, 2012 at 11:11 am |

    Actually, the Army B-day is very hot in all areas of the country. I live close to MacDill AFB Fl. where the Army Ball is a BIG DEAL attended by all service branches. Since I'm a former Marine, I also attend the USMC B-day Ball and I can say that the Army's celebrations are more than equal to the Marines each year.

    I think the Marines put out much more propaganda then does the Army so it only seems like they have a more robust celebration. You have to remember that the Marines feel a little suppressed since they really did nothing in the way of fighting when our country was being borne during the Revolutionary War and then again when we were at risk of breaking apart during the Civil War.

    Finally as a current Soldier, I would disagree with the ArmySGT post above and say that Soldiers are way more cool then Marines.

  7. The simple answer to the question posed in the article, is that the Marine Corps embraces and indoctrinates Marines at the earliest point of their careers (ie, recruit training/boot camp) in the traditions, legacy and accomplishments of the United States Marine Corps. It is a vital part of our training, as we learn that how we fought in the past, influences how we fight in the future. The Marine Corps Ball is an opportunity for all Marines (regardless of rank) to get together, observe an historic day in not only the Marine Corps' history, but also US history and enjoy the same tradition that generations of Marines in the past have observed.

  8. A Marine till I die | June 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    Why do you think the Marines are called "The Few, The Proud, The Marines"? We do not have the Dozens or so Divisions that the Army has, nor do we have a "Continental Army". As Sgt Funk stated above, we are tought from the 2nd day in the Corps all about the history of the Marines. The 1st day, the second you step off the bus, is hell day for the DI's to scare the civilian ^&** out of us. We started as small compliments on board ships to protect them from raiders. Every Marine, of all ranks, are one and the same, with Each One being a Grunt first above all else. The ribbons we wear, We Earned. They not handed out by going to schools or learning how to cook, but for Fighting for our country and the Freedom of others, no matter what our MOS is. Being a smaller military branch, we are much closer together. We have a saying like no other branch, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine"! That is a feeling of Pride, that no other military unit in the world has.
    Lastly, our Officers Corps do not look down on those who have not graduated from a big named Military Academy.
    Semper Fi!

  9. This 'Army Birthday' thing is nonsense. I spent 22 years in the Army and we NEVER celebrated our 'birthday'. In fact we used to poke fun at the Marines for their birthday lunacy. And now you tell me that this sillyness is spreading Army-wide? Will somebody please tell me when we are going to stop trying to be the 'little Marines'?
    We used to have pride in our own branch of the service, we didn't have to imitate anybody else to establish a sense of pride.

  10. It's really easy to explain why. The army doesn't have Balls. The Marines do

    Semper fi

    Sgt D

  11. Richard Woodall | June 13, 2012 at 3:01 am |

    It does not mater what Branch you served in. What matters is YOU served YOUR COUNTRY! I served in the
    Marines 1971-1975. Be PROUD that served your Country !!!! BRAVO ZULU

    Semper FI
    Sgt R

  12. We should all be proud of this privilege and honor to serve in this great nations uniform. Not one is better then the other, when this nations youth have shed and gave their life's blood and their tomorrows while in the uniform they so desired to serve in.

    I have served a tour in the Army & three tours in the Marine Corps. I can honestly say that there are many Army personnel former and active who are equally as proud of their service as us Marines are of ours. The issue here is leadership. It has to start at all levels from NCO's all the way up to your staff officers, without this mentoring to foster the kind of institutionalized motivation & pride you'll never feel the kind of spiritual awakening and excitement every time something special such as a day to honor your services Birthday or any historical event related to the birth, growth, and success of a great institution such as the United States Army.

    Yes the Marine Corps is a very small organization when compared with the Army…as small as it is, its fanatical about it's history, it's achievements, and the sacrifice those who ware the eagle globe and anchor have made. This can never be forgotten. Marine Corps history is drilled into every recruit, you cannot become a Marine without understanding the Corps history. Mind you the Corps has it's own culture, just like all the other branches….The difference is that it's fostered, nurtured and guarded with a pride unmatched.

    The Army owes it to their Soldiers past, present, and future to do the same.

    You'll always here it said that there's no such thing as an EX -Marine…you never give up the title when you no longer ware the uniform Why! because it was earned. Your never called a United States Marine until you earn the title by successfully completing Marine Corps Boot Camp.

    Semper Fi

  13. Wood, SGT | June 13, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    I didn't join the Army to party, I joined the Army to kill people and break things.

    1966 Veteran of the 25ID

  14. Traditions!
    Think of the Corps Birthday Party as a Wake… an opportunity to remember ALL Marines who have wear our uniform to remember thier brothers from the decades long past as well as Pride as knowing that not everyone can be a Marine

  15. Corporal of Marines | June 13, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    …… also on the Marine Corps birthday Marines, past and present, make personal phone calls to their distant buddies that they served with and catch up on all things that took place during the past year. This call is expected and one call can go on for hours allowing both parties to discuss "the Corps", family, and friends.

    Semper Fi

  16. SemperFI0331 | June 13, 2012 at 10:18 am |

    I served 10 years in the Corps and am now serving my country in Army, my comment will be based on what I've experienced so far not on some fairy tale I heard, I'm sure there are a few units out there that take Army traditions such as the Army birthday serious, however I've yet to meet any. It's not about who's the cool kid on the block, or about a party, or about propaganda like some of you have stated on here, It's about sharing a common bond, a bond that sets us apart from the civilian population, a bond that is exclusive to the members of its organization. During the Marine Corps ball there are three very important things that take place, Gen John A. Lejeune's birthday message, The cake cutting ceremony, and finally the presentation of the oldest and youngest Marine in the unit. This is a tradition that has been embedded in every Marines brain housing group. A service member must understand his past and observe traditions of the brothers that have gone before him in order to continue to carry the torch proudly. Without tradition we are no different than corporate America. The Army like the Corps has a rich tradition of defending freedom, however most Army basic soldiers have no clue of how rich and empowering that knowledge is, and I've experience this first hand as a former cadre at an Army Advance Individual Training school. It is truly sad that most chain of commands I've encountered so far in the Army do not observe Army traditions as much as they should, and what disappoints me the most is that NCO's in the Army are worst about it than their joes, I've seen it, I've heard it and I've lived it. I tried to instill a sense of pride in my platoon about Army traditions, however this is not an easy task since it doesn't take place during the enculturation process in Army basic training. My last unit cancelled the Army Birthday Ball celebration, reason being, " not enough soldiers from the top down wanted to attend" SERIOUSLY!!!! I was speechless. I continue to serve proudly, but take it from this old combat hardened veteran, we as leaders need to instill pride and sprit de corps in our young Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airman from day ZERO, it will make your current organization a fearless and unstoppable force!
    Former USMC SSGT
    Current Army SFC

  17. Semper Fi!!!!!!!!!!!! OOOORAH!!!!!!!!!! God I love being a Marine.

  18. THE MARINE CORPS IS A BROTHERHOOD, A FAMILY FILLED WITH PRIDE AND TRADITION NOT A RAG TAG HERD OF WANNA BE DEVIL DOGS. A FRIEND OF MINE VISITED HIS BUDDY AT THE NATIONAL GUARD POST NEAR HERE AND FOUND OUT THAT THE CO WAS IN THE MARINE CORPS FOR 15 YEARS BEFORE JOINING THE ARMY. HE GOT TO MEET HIM AND ASKED WHY HE WENT ARMY. THE CO RESPONDED " I took one look at this mess they call an Army and knew it would take a Marine to straighten them out " ENOUGH SAID. SEMPER FI CPL Z RVN 68-69

  19. WHY DO MARINES OVER LOOK THE FACT THAT THE MARINE CORP WAS DISBAND FROM 1783-1798, AN NEARLY DISBAND AFTER VIETNAM ???????? WHEN IS THE MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY ?????

  20. Sgt. Rock | June 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

    Well there sure are alot of Marines willing to post yet very few Army. History belongs to the US ARMY, with some Corps guys in-between. Now for some history. The US. Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Continental Congress. Think US. ARMY when we Americans fought for "Independence". American Revolutionary War, from Britian/UK., The War of 1812 the second war against the British. The United States Air Force? The Army Air Corp. The dress blues including sabers, orginated in the US. Cavalry,1800s. The Mexican–American War which gave us California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico. The Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, Boxer Rebellion. The first snipers? US. ARMY snipers. Airborne, US. ARMY. Marines win battles, Armies win WARS! Leaders? General George Washington. Theodore Rosevelt. General George McArthur. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. General George S. PATTON. The Marine Corp. came from the British, as early as 1664 with their NAVY. Don't underestimate the rich history of the US ARMY and compare it with the Marine Corps. The US ARMY made this country free. No Marine Corp. back then. The US. ARMY settled this country from Camp Lejeune to, Camp Pendleton before they were camps. Nuff said.

  21. John Plunkett | June 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    Sgt. Funk, (supra) stated it most succinctly.

  22. Regardless of which service honors their birthday better, the USMC puts out much more pure propaganda than does the Army. The reason is they need the support of the naive public to keep their corpse (sic) alive. As we write this, the USMC represents 44% of the Dept. of the Navy. No other nations Marine Corps is anywhere near that large and the Marines are always terrified that they will be cut back to look like the Brit's where the Royal Marines represent only about 13% of the Royal Navy.

    For those of you who posted to the contrary, it is very true that the two war’s in which this country could have been destroyed, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the Marines did very little in the way of fighting so in effect, they owe their existence to the Army and Navy.

    The small battles that Marines fought during the War of 1812 and against the Barbary pirates were notable only because they were fighting for the first time in our nation’s young history and in many cases the Marines were led by a Naval or Army officer’s.

  23. Former U.S.M.C | June 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

    How crazy that a story asking why the the Marine Corps celebrates their birthday and the army does not would cause so much hate and discontent from the Army side. Yes there has been slander from both sides but read the first few replies and see who started it. So we as Marines are proud of who we are. We celebrate our traditions, we celebrate or fallen brothers, and most of all we celebrate being Marines. To start a flame war over which service is what, and how the Army is everything and the Marine Corps is nothing is beyond pathetic. Small minds and morons tough behind a keyboard. I know a lot, and have been to war with some great soldiers, to the ones posting above me you are not them!!!

    Semper Fi

  24. ArmyVet2007 | June 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm |

    To be perfectly honest, the units I served in while in the Army were too busy either 1) training to deploy to a war zone or 2) deploying to a war zone. We didn't have the time or the inclination to throw birthday balls and all of that. On occasion we might have a giant cake at the DFAC or something like that, but we were too busy doing our jobs otherwise. __That said, that doesn't mean I or my fellow soldiers lacked pride in our Army. If you think that just because we don't attend balls so we can throw up on each others' shoes every single year, that this translates into a lack of pride and respect in our branch of service

  25. CoolPaPaDra | June 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm |

    Don't you know what ARMY stands for :

    Ain't
    Ready to be
    Marines
    Yet !
    Retired Master Gunnery Sergeant, E-9 1972-2002 ,Vietnam, Cuba , Beirut, Desert Storm/Sheild Marine
    OOH RAH ! Semper Fi ! Do or Die !

  26. SP4 Michael Milligan | June 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm |

    No one seems to me remembering the true purposes of the Army and the Marines. At inception, the Marines provided a quick response force carried on the fast means possible at the time, SHIPS! Thus their affiliation with the Navy! They made the initial beach landings. As transportation allowed, the Army was able to relieve or fight along side of the existing forces. Armies are large, they take time to move. The Marines are meant to be small and swift. Each has its own purpose even though the lines are now blurring with the modern form of warfare.

    Personally, I will salute any man in any uniform who know the sounds of incoming or the sight of tracers floating toward them. Any day of the week, month or year. SALUTE! Wear your Service and Pride openly. Never again should any Service be subjected the abuse of Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos.

    SP4 Mike Milligan

  27. GruntUSMC | June 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm |

    All I know is that when the bullets start flying, it doesnt matter what uniform and bells and whistles(or lack thereof) you have on. All that does matter is performance on the battle field. My few experiences with any Army Soldiers in combat were positive. Having an Army tank leaves it’s post without being called for support to assist with holding security on Route Michigan after an ied attack and staying by my side for a few hours only having 6 Marines and two humvees they made a world of difference for me that day so thank you to the Marines who are true to the traditions and to the Army for standing asking side me in battle.

  28. Bridgestone | June 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    I’ve chewed a little dirt with members of all o the services, active and reserve. Even saw some Coasties in the desert over there.

    Our differences are what makes the nation need each unique service. Be proud of that. While I feel a little interservice rivalry is healthy, trying to belittle members of a different uniformed service IS NOT!

    As far as the Army Birthday…it was never a big deal when I spent 5 years with 10th Mountain Div. Even less of a deal while deployed, although there WAS cake at the DFAC.

    As far as military history…I know a fair amount, but other than one of my leadership development courses as an NCO, the Army hasn’t taught me any of it.

    TangoRomeoSierra

  29. GruntUSMC | June 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |

    sorry typo meant beside not asking. I am just Marine Grunt

  30. Okay, I have read the comments here and some comments are very good and some are just down right ignorant. My take on the whole thing is that the Army just doesn't stress the birthday like the Marine Corps does. Size has nothing to do with it since it is the responsibility of the individual units to raise the funds and arrange for their celebration. I am a retired Marine and have been deployed during the birthday a few times but the command always went out of the way to find someway to make it special, at least get people together for the traditional reading of the messages and presenting of oldest and youngest present. And before you try making this an Army vs Marines thing, I am not the one to pull that on. I spent 4 years with USSOCOM and served with the Navy, Army and Air Force. As I sit typing this I have two burial flags on display in front of my from my father and uncle who both served in the Army. While with SOCOM I had the privilege of serving on their Joint Service Color Guard. Don't get me wrong, there was lots of poking fun at each other's service but we were all brothers under the uniform and you come at one of us you had all of us to contend with, regardless of what service they were from.

    Semper Fidelis

  31. armyguy123 | June 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm |

    Scanning thru all the BS fodder back and forth I didn’t notice if the original question was answered. JBLM has their Army ball on 15 June.Not sure what installation you’re on but I’d bet

    there is one being held locally. Just need to talk to the right film… start with your installationCSM

  32. Another point not yet made: There is a reason there are Marine, Navy, and Air Force Memorials around the Nation's Capital . . . but no US Army Memorial. There is a reason there are US Marine, US Navy, and US Air Force Museums . . . but no US Army Museum. Allegiance in the other Services is by indoctrination to the overall Service. In the Army, allegiance is (mostly) to Division-level units or Branches. There are 1st Infantry, 82nd Airborne, 25th Infantry, and 101st Airborne Memorials among many others, and there are Museums for those Units. There's the Quartermaster Museum (Ft Lee), the Infantry Museum (Ft Benning), the Artillery Museum (Ft Sill), etc. A movement is underway to create a "US Army Museum" at Fort Belvoir but the going is slow . . . all the good potential exhibits are already in Museums at various Divisions' or Branches' home bases. For the Army to get its own national-level Memorial or Museum . . . and indeed its own BIG Birthday Ball . . . will require a wholesale retraining of the Army mentality. It's not a wrong approach . . . just a different approach. HOOAH? (Actually, HUA … Heard Understood Acknowledged)

  33. Sgt. Benson | June 14, 2012 at 12:13 am |

    (sigh)…Okay children, you can stop squabbling now. Let's address the central underlying issue, shall we? What constitutes being "military", and what makes a "military" individual, a "United States Service Member"? Is it the ability to stop a bullet? No, anyone can do that. Is it the ability to kill? Nope, even the worst shot in the world, can get lucky. Is it a uniform? Nah, even McDonalds has uniforms. Is it going off to war, on behalf of the US? hmm…nope, mercenaries can do that. Maybe it's ceremonies? Wait, no…every fraternal organization had that. Wait, maybe it's marching!? That cant be it either, middle school bands can do that. I got it! Maybe it's the medals and ribbons and badges! Nope, all that and all the "commemoratives" etc…can be bought and worn, same as all of our uniforms too. Maybe it's the "lingo", must be the way we talk, and yell motivational stuff like "oorah", "hooah", "ooshah"… Wait a minute, that sounds like a tuberculosis ward. Maybe it's following orders? No, anybody can do what they are told. Giving orders, that's got to be it right? Nope, even a fool can tell somebody to do something. Then
    It must be for the King's/Queen's honor! Oh, right..we already told the monarch what they could do in their crown…and where to shove the scepter afterwards. Okay folks, we're running out "stuff" here. So…it's not what we wear, how we talk, not gender, not race, not obedience, not skills, not what class of society we are a part of, not riches, not poverty, not death, not glory, not obligation, not for social outings, not for the "fine" accommodations we've all endured, not for shopping privileges at PX/BX, not for cool tatoos, not for bumper stickers, not for college money, not for bonus money… We've peeled many layers off this onion. Being "military", isn't a tangible thing, is it? From musket and frock coat, to M4 and body armor… Tall wooden ships and the roar of cannons, to running silent beneath the waves with enough nukes to slay millions at a time… From fighting upon the surface of land and water to fighting in the skies above… The answer is elusive, isn't it? What makes the US "military member" unique? What makes us, US? Obviously, there have been, there are, and there will always be those among the US military, that should never have been there, some even manage to make rank and a carer of it. Where am I going with this, right? What, we who belong in the military(any branch, even the Coasties), is at the inner most core of our being. It's has been given numerous names, and described at length… It's that part, down deep inside, hidden even unto ourselves… Words used to describe it, by others, after the fact…often include words and phrases like: above and beyond the call of duty, act of valor, conspicuous gallantry, courageous, steadfast, bravery… These words, and many more, describe that intangible part of us, that makes us a military family… You can't bottle it, you can't teach it, it can't be duplicated or reproduced. It is that part of humanity, only found in a small portion of us… Like the firefighters who died on 9-11, running in towards a burning nightmare, while everyone else ran away. What makes us US Service Members…we go where others fear to tread, we do for others what they can not, or will not, we give up creature comforts so others may have theirs, we give up our liberty so others might have it, we do no less than offer up our lives upon the altar of freedom prepared to die, if need be…to preserve the freedom of others. We give selflessly, for others. We burden ourselves with the oppression of psychological trauma of death so others will never know what it is like. WE GIVE OF OURSELVES, WE SERVE OTHERS, WE ARE THE DEFFENDERS OF FREEDOM

  34. Grunt0311 | June 14, 2012 at 1:00 am |

    By the way Mr. Mueller, the marines do not owe their existence to the army or the navy. It was a decision by our government to put marines on navy ships to help defend them. It's nonsense for you to make such a statement. There's no logic in it.

  35. ClearedHot | June 14, 2012 at 4:22 am |

    I liked that comment about Rangers wanting to be Marines when they grow up.

    Actually if that were true, why would the Corps send a Marine to Ranger School?

    Chew on that fact for a minute, before you post another poorly thought out comment.

  36. ClearedHot | June 14, 2012 at 4:24 am |

    I liked that comment about Rangers wanting to be Marines when they grow up.
    Actually if that were true, why would the Corps send a Marine to Ranger School?
    Chew on that fact for a minute, before you post another poorly thought out comment.

  37. didn't help that the politicos "stole" the day and call it Flag Day

  38. The Marine Corps cares more about looking good rather than being good; waaaay too focused on close order drill, officer-centric hierarchy, and stripping floors.
    On the other hand, the Army has diluted the very fabric of Soldierly ethos; it has degenerated into socialized welfare. CSMs "graduating" from the SGMs' Academy at Bliss can barely speak English…let alone read or write in their "common" language. The majority of senior NCOs in the Army is overweight and has marginalized themselves to the point where their officer counterparts will only allow them to perform bed and haircut checks.
    When CSA Chandler was the SGMs' Academy Commandant, he was personally in charge of the cycle of mediocrity that was perpetuated in his esteemed schoolhouse; great, now he is in a position to discourage promotion based on meritocracy. It is reprehensible and pathetic how the standards have been so diluted in the Army; they care far more about equality that specialization. Heaven forbid one should appear more competitive than another, so we will just eliminate or redact anything from their personnel file when it goes in front of a centralized promotion board that might make them stand out.
    So I ask you: What is there to celebrate?

  39. MessTruck | June 14, 2012 at 8:07 am |

    Unless thing have recently changed dramatically, the Army, especially here at Fort Rucker, does celebrate its birthday and other traditions. Even after I retired in 1993, I participated by setting up historical displays at the celebrations (never did figure out how to get my WWII field kitchen into the lobby of the Officer’s Club). In fact I still participate in celebrations and traditions like The Streamer Ceremony (June 22, Howe Field @ Fort Rucker) along with other active and retired soldiers. You just need to get in the loop and join in.

  40. CutterJohn | June 14, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    There would have to be new Army policy enacted to authorize FIPWIU (fun in public; while in uniform). Plus the new acronym would have to be vetted to make sure that it isn't already used by the Army. We couldn't possibly get that done until around the 250th birthday … maybe. Then a study group would have to convene to assure the public that little Timmy and Missy would not get into trouble and have any kind of "Harrassment" occurring while engaging in FIPWIU. A new piece of "safety gear" would most assuredly be required. Probably a sippy cup for our pretend beer. I would post a power-point presentation, but this forum doesn't have the proper security clearance.

  41. Its a local chain of command committment. I have been in units that have thrown BIG parties not only for the Army's birthday but for the branches birthday as well. In fact we had so many ceremonies and formal parties that we would joke about not having cake after PT. That was a good unit that took prode in the Army at the Battalion level and all ranks invited. So I would bring it up through your FRG channels to your BN CoC that you want more formal events honoring Army traditions.

  42. Army Cav 1SG | June 14, 2012 at 8:56 am |

    Sometimes, when you are the little kid on the block you need to get louder than the bigs kids, MY Army saved many times the asses of Marines who thought they were John Wayne, look at Chosin Resovoir and Khe Sanh/Con Tein, ….. knwo who saved their asses, the United States Firsst Cavalry Division!!!!

  43. What does most of this bull shit have to do with Birthday balls? I have been to many Marine Corps Balls and a Navy Ball on a Marine base. Marine Ball was the better of the 2 but the navy still had a birthday celebration on a Marine base. While stationed on a Navy base the Marines always had a birthday ball.And also recruiting commands have Marine Corps Balls in their cities

  44. GunnyTeufulhund | June 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm |

    First to fight and the last to go. Hard Corps is the only way we know.

  45. MGySgtUSMC | June 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

    Battle for Iwo Jima
    "The battle of Iwo Island has been won. The United States Marines by their individual and collective courage have conquered a base which is as necessary to us in our continuing forward movement toward final victory as it was vital to the enemy in staving off ultimate defeat.

    By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

    –Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

    During the 36 day battle, Army boots on the ground–none that I've been able to find, Marine Corps boots on the ground–approximately 70,000 – 80,000, along with all the Naval Corpsmen and See Bees. After the island was secured, the Army then came ashore.

    Army, just suck it up!! You'll never understand what being a Marine means. You don't have the IQ for it.

    Long live the U.S. Marine Corps. Semper Fi !!!!

  46. GradyPhilpott | June 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    "…is the Army just not as cool as the Marine Corps?"

    Nope!

    To that "propaganda" crap, the Corps' reputation is a product of our performance on the battlefield and every other damn thing we do, including celebrating our "birthday."

    The Marine Corps is more respectful of our sister services than any other branch of the service and to you, Jon Mueller, the Corps owes its continued existence to no one but ourselves and a bunch of friends in Congress after WWII.

    Marines are well known for throwing birthday parties at their places of work and for their neighbors who have never been Marines or who will never be Marines or may have never heard of the Corps.

    Esprit de Corps is what makes the Marine Corps different from all the other branches of the service and no one can bestow that on you, except yourselves, so if any member or former member of a branch of the service is wondering where your birthday party is, throw one!

    Semper Fidelis!

  47. Syvens pen | June 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

    I've been to a few Army Balls and one Saint Barb's Day Ball as well. It came down to timing and my hubby's desire to see me dressed up and show me off. *laugh* I can say, however, that there was never any singing at these events and, generally, seating arrangements are cliche city.

    So… what the heck, who's stopping you from throwing your OWN Army party? :) Go for it! And please take lots of pictures!

  48. It is wrong to compare the US Army to the USMC, it's like comparing oranges to apples, there have 2 different missions, any & all real Americans should honor & admire the USMC for thier streling record, my only compliant is from day one they indoctrinate MC recruits with propaganda slammin my beloved US Army, There is no way you can beat the record of folks like the 1st Cav, 101st & 82nd Airborne, 173rd Abn Bde, 75th Ranger Reg. 11th ACR, & the list goes on & on.

  49. Famous quotes about the US Marines:

    “C’mon you sons-of-bitches, do you want to live forever!” ~ GySgt Dan Daley at the Battle of Belleau Wood WWI

    “Retreat, hell we just got here!” ~ Captain Lloyd Williams, USMC at the Battle of Belleau Wood WWI

    “Of the Marines on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue” ~ Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Iwo Jima WWII

    “We’re surrounded? Good, now we can kill the bastards in any direction.” ~ Colonel Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller; Korean War

    “The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima, means a Marine Corps for the next 50) 500 years.” ~ James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy

    “Tell that to the Marines!” ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt after the attacks on Pearl Harbor

    “Some people live an entire lifetime wondering if they’ve made a difference in the world, Marines don’t have that problem.” ~ President Ronald Regan

    “Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They’re aggressive on the attack and tenacious on the defense. They’ve got really short hair and they always go for the throat.” ~ RAdm. “Jay’ R. Stark, U.S. Navy

    “A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.” ~ Admiral David D. Porter, USN

    “I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!” ~ General Douglas MacArthur, US Army

    “The man who will go where his colors will go, without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in a jungle and mountain range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to Democratic America. He is the stuff of which legions are made. His pride is his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a legionary, he held the gates of civilization for the classical world…he has been called United States Marine.” ~ Lieutenant Colonel T.R. Fehrenbach, US Army in “This Kind of War”

    “Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They’ll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOB’s I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man’s normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and , generally speaking, of the United States Marines I’ve come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet.”

    ~ An Anonymous Canadian Citizen

    “The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle!” ~ General Pershing, US Army

    “The Marines have landed, and the situation is well in hand”. ~ Richard Harding Davis, war correspondent (1885)

    “The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. LORD, how they could fight!” ~ Major General Frank Lowe, US Army

    “Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army” ~ Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings to keep the enemy from immediately fleeing

    “Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.” ~ Navy Times

    “Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the American Marines.” ~Captured North Korean Major

    “The Marines are careful, brave fighters…they were like hunters, boring in relentlessly without fear. I never heard a wounded Marine moan.”

    ~ The U.S. Army General Staff

    “They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or “we’ll blow you away.” And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with the really big guns, and they said in Somali, “Igaralli ahow,” Which mean “Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, my mistake.” ~ Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia

    “We have two companies of Marines running all over this island and thousands of Army troops doing nothing!” ~ General John Vessey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

    “This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave” ~ Elmer Davis (1890-1958)

    “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” ~ Omar Bradley

    “To observe a Marine is inspirational, to be a Marine is exceptional.” ~ Unknown

    “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.” ~ Marine General James Mattis to Iraqi tribal leaders

    “To observe a Marine, is inspirational. To be a Marine, is exceptional.” ~ GySgt Charles F. Wolf, Jr.

    Enough said….

  50. Med Retired Lcpl | June 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm |

    No matter where in the world Marines are at we will celibrate the Marine birthday. If we are in a combat zone, if we don't have a cake we will take a pound cake and use that. We are resorceful. The funny thing I notice is our army is like the brits army and our Marines are like the royal Marines. For our Army are fat and nasty, unkept. My brothers are disapline, in shape, and well dressed. You can point out a Marine a distance a way just like you can a royal Marine. We take pride in our corps. Most folks don't know this but everything in the my beloved Corps is about tradition. From our stiff necks, to our blood stirpes to the name devil dogs.

  51. From an opinion as a soldier (both active and reservist) I think one of the things I notice is the lack of knowledge regarding not just Army history, but the U.S. History and traditions. When the 13 original colonies declared Independence, it relied on it's nascent Continental Army and militia group to fight for it's survival, thus both are in intrinsic. How can you expect the modern soldier to take any pride in the Army while having little understanding or knowledge of the U.S. Constitution?

  52. WHO CARES!!!! The Corp is big on traditions, if you havent earned the title then shut it. All you know is what you have heard, read , or seen on history channel, and not lived it. I love my Marine Corp, and have some affection for all branches but i CAN NOT pass judgement on the others branches for the simple fact i have not lived it.

  53. Maybe because they wanted to become leaders,As this moment they try to experience using this cap.But I like ii because it feels that this children are responsible for themselves.

  54. Shaunna Novy | December 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm |

    I got married on the Army's birthday :)

  55. Some of the posts here are derogatory in nature. It is sad that jealousy or other motivations would lead someone, especially some with very little actual knowledge to lower themselves to denigrate a sister service. I served in the Navy for 4 before a career in the Marines and have spent much time with the Air Force and Navy during that career. I can't claim much time with the Army but some and I can say that I take pride in all our military services, their accomplishments and sacrifices. Each does a different mission and consequently does them their own way to suit their objectives and that is as it should be. I may offer constructive criticism on occasion if it is something I am well versed in but I make an effort to never be critical for its own sake.

  56. Corporal Clark | July 25, 2013 at 11:29 am |

    Jealous…

  57. Retired Marine it took a time for the Marine Corps to get the ceremony ( which was before my time) to what it is today. The one thing that has kept it strong is we the Marine Corps have always remembered our history of our Corps. The Birthday is the time when we reflect on that and help feed the Esprite De Corps. Our past is our future. The ceremony is the oldest Marine passes his piece of cake to the youngest Marine in that you pass all the traditions that the past has made. Gen Lejune birthday message says it best when you read the 4 paragraph in his birthday message "This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish, Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps"
    The Army is such a large unit that they have unit events that mark its history of that unit, that's what makes the units strong. I have served with the Army in schools and they are good units and good solders I respect them but I can say they are not Marines I thank them for their service and will remain…..
    Semper Fidelis

  58. ken badoian | July 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm |

    Marine and Army Birthday celebrations, whoopee … The Marines learned their tradition form the United States Navy. Birthday cake, oldest and youngest, all the trappings of duty, honor, and courage. Also the Navy's CPO, SCPO, and MCPO'S celebrate the birthday of Navy Chiefs with a ball usually full dress.

    I have been to the "Armed Forces" ball in Chicago…great event but usually Marines and Sailors are in full dress and the Air Force and Army come in their class "A" with bow ties and minature medals. Navy also has Nurse Corp, Supply Corp, etc. non line officer balls. Also the Navy has Submarine Balls which are great events.

    All that said the couple of Marine Corp balls have been the most traditional.

    MMCS(SW)(SS)

  59. Esprit de Corps. Semper Fi.

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