FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Marine Corps!

Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever? Happy birthday Marine Corps!

Following is an updated repost from my yearly Marine Corps birthday post:
I had the great pleasure to attend the 239th Marine Corps Birthday Ball this past Saturday here in Antananarivo, Madagascar with my stunning wife.   Madagascar is about as far as you can get from the United States and it is reassuring that even here we come under their protection.


"Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"
-commonly attributed to Sergeant Major Dan Daly, born November 11th (he respectfully waited for the Marine Corps birthday before entering the world) 
While I ended up joining the Navy (6 weeks of Leatherneck during the summer after my junior year at the Naval Academy was enough for me to know that I was not cut out for the Marines), I have always had a profound respect and admiration for the Marine Corps.  There is no greater, ruthless and expedient fighting force on the planet.

       My father is a Marine (and my grandfather, grandmother, an uncle, and a cousin).  I always felt a point of personal pride to call myself a Marine Corps B.R.A.T. growing up.  Those of you my age may recall the movie entitled The BRAT Patrol (1986 starring Sean Astin) in which the kids of military service members save the world (more or less).  Of course BRAT stands for Born Raised And Trapped.  I can remember running around the neighborhood as an 9 year old singing the BRAT Patrol songs and conducting "missions" with my fellow USMC BRATs.  Following is a link to the movie for those of you who are curious:
"The BRAT Patrol" youtube excerpt (first ten minutes of the film)
IMDB link: The BRAT Patrol

I'll close out this column with two quotes, one from a modern day Marine maestro of quotable quotes (incidentally, only in the Marine
Corps could you have a flag officer says this types of things and still remain a flag officer).  

"I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery.  But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes:  If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all.
- Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders

and the other from my favorite Marine Corps Commandant (yes, Marine kids have favorite Commandants...I had a poster of this one) 
General Louis 'Lou', 'Iron-lung Lou' Wilson (Medal of Honor recipient).  As Commandant he was instrumental in bringing the Marine Corps
out of the abyss of Vietnam, raising standards for recruitment and retention.  He reportedly gave this toast at a Marine Corps ball.  And having a 
plethora of Marine buddies I can personally vouch for the veracity of the sentiments he expresses in his closing lines:

The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Have existed since time began.

But the greatest of loves, The quintessence of loves.
even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love,
of one drunken Marine for another.

General Louis H. Wilson
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Toast given at 203rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Camp Lejueune, N.C. 1978

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