SHAKO: Happy Birthday U.S. Marine Corps

November 10, 2020 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

Happy 245th Leathernecks!

.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Alison Dostie)

The traditional birthday cake was on display for the Marine Corps birthday pageant at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on November 9, 2020, the day before the Corps’ 245th birthday.

The Marine Corps was created by the Second Continental Congress on Nov. 10, 1775 and since 1921, Marines around the world have celebrated the Corps’ founding under Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, issued by then-Commandant Major Gen. John LeJeune (pronounced Leh-Zhern). LeJeune’s order summarized the history, tradition and mission of the Marine Corps and directed that the order be read to every command on every subsequent November 10, the Marine Corps Birthday.

Attack on Derna by Colonel Charles Waterhouse, (Marine Corps Art Collection)

Since the 1950s, the Marines have marked the occasion with a birthday celebration and a cake cutting ceremony, where a senior Marine Corps officer slices the cake — usually with the traditional Mameluke officer’s sword, commemorating the Marines’ first overseas action near the shores of Tripoli in 1805. The first slice of cake is handed to the oldest enlisted Marine present. That senior Leatherneck then hands the slice to the youngest Marine present.

The cake is a big deal in birthday celebrations at Marine Corps bases around the world, like the ceremony shown at Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan on November 9. In the photo below, Colonel Omar Randall, left, commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 37 (CLR) , 3rd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) and Sergeant Major David West,  cut the cake, with the traditional officer’s sword. but wearing masks to adhere to COVID-19 mitigation procedures.

(U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Private First Class Courtney A. Robertson)

SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

(U.S. Military Academy photo)

Entry filed under: amphibious warfare, Marine Corps, National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, SHAKO, Special Operations, Traditions, U.S. Navy. Tags: , , , , , , .

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November 2020


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