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Marines double-time for Corps' birthday

By Lance Cpl. Benjamin Harris | | November 12, 2009

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Marines serving in the National Capital Region participated in the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps 3rd Annual Marine Corps Birthday Run Nov. 10, in recognition of the 234th anniversary of the birth of the Corps.

It was on this day in 1775 that the Continental Congress met in a tavern in Philadelphia and formed two battalions of Continental Marines, the first of many to claim the title. This year, leathernecks continued the tradition of being hard chargers by getting together with fellow Belleau Woodsmen and celebrating the birthday with a motivational run.

The early morning run began at the Pentagon parking lot and proceeded to the Marine Corps War Memorial. When they arrived, the Marines stopped and sang the Marines Hymn with the help of the Marine Corps Band before heading back to the Pentagon.

“This was definitely a highlight of my time in the Marine Corps,” said Cpl. Matthew Brockelmeyer, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Judge Advocate Division at the Pentagon. “Few Marines get the chance to go on a run with the commandant and the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, let alone on our Corps’ birthday.”

The Pentagon police escorted the formation down Virginia State Route 110 to ensure the safety of the Marines, and the stopped traffic provided additional motivation, honking their horns and shouting encouragement to the Marines as they passed by.

“We’re carrying on traditions,” said Sgt. John Bun, an administrative clerk with the Intelligence Department, Headquarters Marine Corps. “Even though we’re the ‘new Corps,’ we still care about these traditions.”

How else would Marines celebrate their birthday but with cadence and a three-mile run, Brockelmeyer said. 

“It’s good to allow the community to see our passion and our traditions being applied,” he added. “This is what I enlisted for. We as Marines have camaraderie and carry on a tradition unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else.”
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