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Why I Like Marines...

(From a speech by Rear Admiral J. Stark, USN, Newport, RI, 10 November 1995)

...The first reason I like Marines is, they set high standards for themselves and those around them and will accept nothing less.

I like the way Marines march.

I like the way Marines do their basic training whether it's Quantico, Parris Island, or San Diego.

I like the idea [that] Marines 'cultivate an ethos conducive of producing hard people in a soft age.

I like the fact that Marines stay in shape.

I like the fact that the Marines only have one boss, the Commandant. And I like the directness of the Commandant.

I like the fact that Marines are stubborn.

I like the way Marines obey orders.

I like the way the Marines make the most of the press.

I like the wholehearted professionalism of the Marines. occurred to me that the services could be characterized by different breeds of dogs...

The Air Force reminded me of a French Poodle. The poodle always looks perfect...sometimes seems a bit pampered...always travels first class. But don't ever forget that the poodle was bred as a hunting dog and in a fight it's very dangerous.

The Army is kind of like a St. Bernard. It's big and heavy and sometimes seems a bit clumsy. But it's very powerful and has lots of stamina. So you want it for the long haul.

The Navy, God bless us, is a Golden Retriever. They're good natured and great around the house. The kids love 'em. Sometimes their hair is a bit long...they go wandering off for long periods of time, and they love water.

...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 defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat. That sounds like a Marine to me!

So what I really like about Marines is that 'First to Fight' isn't just a motto, it's a way of life. From the day they were formed at Tun Tavern 221 years ago, Marines have distinguished themselves on battlefields around the world. From the fighting tops of the Bonhomme Richard, to the sands of the Barbary coast, from the swamps of New Orleans to the halls of Montezuma, from Belleau Wood, to the Argonne Forest, to Guadacanal, and Iwo Jima, and Okinawa and Inchon, and Chosin Resevoir and Hue City and Quang Tri and Dong Ha, and Beirut, and Grenada, and Panama, and Somalia and Bosnia and a thousand unnamed battlefields in Godforsaken corners of the globe, Marines have distinguished themselves by their bravery, and stubbornness and aggressive spirit, and sacrifice, and love of country, and loyalty to one another. They've done it for you and me, and this Country we all love so dearly. And they asked for nothing more than the honor of being a United States Marine.

And that's why I like Marines!

The artwork above is courtsey of Sgt Wolf's SemperToons web site.

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