Happy Birthday Marines! What makes the Corps great in 10 awesome images

(Marine Corps Times) -- Nov. 10, 1775, marks the beginning of the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. To celebrate the Marine Corps' 241st Birthday, we looked at the top 10 things that make the Corps awesome.

 

1.  “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” —  One of retired Gen. James Mattis' rules to live by.


2. Knife hands. These are so sharp they could slice birthday cake.


3. Guns, shouting, battle rattle. Just another day at the office.


4. All Marines remember that day when they finished the Crucible and earned the honor to wear the eagle, globe and anchor.


5.  “We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.” Marines are the heirs to the relentless grit and courage of Lewis “Chesty” Puller, who as a colonel led his forces in inflicting huge casualties against the encircling Chinese forces in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, for which he received his fifth Navy Cross. He retired as a lieutenant general and the most decorated Marine in history. 


6. The Ka-Bar is part Marine Corps, part Klingon, all bad-ass.


7.  On Nov. 13, 2004, then 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal fought to clear Fallujah's infamous “House of Hell” and rescue Marines trapped inside. He was shot seven times by insurgents and took shrapnel when he used his body to protect a wounded Marine from a grenade blast.  A picture of him with two Marines helping to carry him out of the house became one of the most iconic pictures from the Iraq war.  Now a sergeant major, Kasal received the Navy Cross in 2006. 


8. Chuck Norris approves of the  Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. 


9. The Marine Corps offers even the most junior person frequent opportunities for face-time with senior leaders.


10. “Are you allowed to eat jelly doughnuts, Pvt. Pyle?” When retired Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey played the drill instructor in “Full Metal Jacket,” he inspired countless Marines to see if they are tough enough to make it through recruit training. The movie and his performance are indelible parts of Corps lore.


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