Why Marines Are Called Leathernecks?
In the old days, the servicemen in the United States Marine Corps wore leather bands around their throats. Because of this, members of the corps are frequently called leathernecks.
The Marine Corps is a separate branch of the armed forces within the Department of the Navy in the Department of Defense. The group’s motto, adopted in 1868, is Semper Fidelis,’which means “Always Faithful.”
The Continental Congress established the corps on Nov. 10, 1775, to fight in the Revolutionary War. After the Revolutionary War, no marines were in the service, but Congress recreated the corps as a military unit in 1798.
In 1805, the marines stormed the Barbary pirates’ stronghold at Derna, on the shores of Tripoli. The action helped end the pirate menace in the Mediterranean Sea.
Marines took part in all major naval victories during the War of 1812. They helped Andrew Jackson’s army administer the worst defeat of the war to the British in the defense of New Orleans in 1815.
During the Mexican War, from 1846 to 1848, the leathernecks made many landings on both coasts of Mexico. Marines were the first to enter the city gates of Mexico City. They raised the American flag over the National Palace, which later became known as “the halls of Montezuma.”
Throughout the nation’s history, members of the United States Marine Corps have performed heroically during every emergency.
It is the Marine Corps’ job to defend national interests on land and sea and to protect the lives and property of its citizens in other regions. During war and other emergencies, the United States must be ready to send well trained, disciplined forces to accomplish these goals.
The corps also guards U.S. embassies, legations and consulates in other countries.
John Philip Sousa wrote the corps’ march, “Semper Fidelis,” while serving as leader of the Marine band. The band is called “The President’s Own,” because it plays for state affairs in the White House.
As the nation’s amphibious force, marines in many strategic parts of the world stand alert to speed to any trouble spot. A well known saying is: “The marines have landed, and the situation is well in hand.”
Marines have been the first to fight in almost every major war in which the United States was involved. Since 1775, these “soldiers of the sea” have grown from two battalions of sharpshooters into a combat organization of highly mobile ground divisions and air wings.
Marines have made more than 300 landings on foreign shores and have served in every part of the world.