Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps [SLIDESHOW]

The Marine Corps has honorably served the United States for 237 years.

Since November 10, 1775, Marines have fought for America’s freedoms both on land and sea, often suffering a great number of casualties on dangerous missions.

“Marines exist to fight and win our Nation’s battles,” Marine Commandant General James Amos said in a statement on November 1. “We are most proud of our well-earned reputation for answering the clarion call first.”

Here is a look at the rich and valiant history of the Marine Corps, from its beginning to the modern era.

Click an image below for larger version.
  • "After the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001, the entire American military focused its might on defeating Al-Qaeda. Two months later, Marines were the first major ground forces in Afghanistan. In mid-December, 2001, Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit captured Kandahar Airport and converted it into one of the first coalition command centers in the country.
At the start of 2010, Marines lead Operation Moshtarak, the largest military operation since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan and reclaimed cities across southern Afghanistan, including the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. The War in Afghanistan officially became the longest war in U.S. history in June of 2010. Marines continue to fight the Taliban and train Afghan soldiers to eventually shoulder the burden of Afghanistan's national security."
  • The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to the largest movement of Marine forces since World War II. Between August 1990 and January 1991, 24 infantry battalions, 40 squadrons (more than 92,000 Marines) deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. The air campaign of Operation Desert Storm began Jan. 16, 1991, followed by the main overland attack Feb. 24 when the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions breached the Iraqi defense lines and stormed into occupied Kuwait. Meanwhile, the threat from the sea in the form of Marine Expeditionary Brigades held 50,000 Iraqis in check along the Kuwait coast. By the morning of Feb. 28, 100 hours after the ground war began, the Iraqi army was no longer a threat.
  • 1776: "A patriot militia strategically entrenched itself in a field near Moores Creek, anticipating a loyalist army to come across the Moores Creek Bridge. Surely enough, the loyalist army proceeded across the bridge and found itself immediately engaged in musket fire. The patriot militia’s ambush caught it off guard and was too strong. The patriot militia defeated the loyalist army, and the battle is known today as a significant victory for the patriots." (The Marine Times)The patriot militia defeated the loyalist army, and the battle is known today as a significant victory for the patriots." (The Marine Times)
  • Tun Tavern Philadelphia, PA November 10, 1775: At the dawn of the revolution the continental congress met at the tavern to sign a resolution that would create two Marine Battalions for amphibious warfare, thus beginning the legacy of Marine Corps.

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