Short for Semper Fidelis
Latin for "Always Faithful!"
It was on this day in 1775 that the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. Nicholas then appointed Robert Mullen, proprietor of Tun Tavern, to the job of Chief Marine Recruiter. Tun Tavern was used to recruit men for the new Corps of Marines. Lured by (1) cold beer and (2) the chance to serve in the new Corps, prospective recruits flocked to the tavern to sign up. It is for this reason that Tun Tavern is considered the birthplace of the USMC.
You may have heard the Marines referred to as "Devil Dogs". This nickname was given to the Marines by the Germans. Teufelhunden is translated to devil dog. The name was associated with the vicious dogs of Bavarian folklore. During the Battle of Belleau Woods the Marines captured the french village from the Germans. In the village was a fountain with a bull mastiff head from which the water flowed. The English Bulldog was soon adopted by the Marine Corps.
The Marines soon obtained an English Bulldog for their icon. On October 14, 1922 King Bismark was renamed Jiggs and inducted into the Corps by BGen Smedley Butler. He quickly rose through the ranks to Sgt Major Jiggs. Sadly he passed away on Jan 3, 1927. He laid in state at Quantico and was buried with full military honors. Former Heavyweight Boxing Champ James Tunnely donated his English Bulldog as a replacement. He was renamed Jiggs and enlisted. He proved to be quite a handful much unlike his predecessor. He died of heat exhaustion in 1928 after one of his rampages. All future bulldogs have been named Smedley after BGen Buttler until 1950. After that they have been named Chesty in honor of Lt Gen Lewis "Chesty" Puller.
Happy Birthday to my husband, Sgt Jeff DeLauder, and all the other Marines who have served our country well!