Air Force leaders send birthday message to Marine Corps

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The secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force salute the Marine Corps on its 234th birthday Nov. 10.

Originally founded on Nov. 10, 1775, the Marine Corps was composed mainly of infantrymen serving aboard Navy ships.

They were responsible primarily for the security of the ship and provided offensive and defensive boarding parties. They also helped protect the ship's officers from mutiny. In 1921, Marine Gen. John A. Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, that directed the history, traditions and mission of the Marine Corps to be read to all Marines on Nov. 10 to honor the service's creation. And in 1925, the first formal Marine Corps Birthday Ball was held in Philadelphia.

Today, the Marines Corps is an amphibious expeditionary force that also supports missions from the White House and the State Department.

Secretary Michael B. Donley wrote a letter to the secretary of the Navy stating:

"Congratulations as you celebrate the 234th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The men and women of the United States Marines embody a tradition of honor and selfless service dating back to the establishment of the Continental Marines in 1775. Today, they and the thousands who have earned the right to be called a Marine continue to uphold these most hallowed traditions by serving proudly around the globe.

"The men and women of the U.S. Air Force are honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Marines, as we provide our country unparalleled military capability. America's Airmen salute you and wish you the best on your birthday.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz wrote:

"Congratulations to the U.S. Marine Corps on 234 years of service to our great nation. We celebrate the culture that the 'leathernecks' embody -- honor, courage and commitment. Your current active duty and Reserve warriors, along with those who have formerly worn the Marine Corps uniform with pride, have all truly lived up to the Corps' sacred motto: 'Semper Fidelis.'

"The men and women of the U.S. Air Force are proud to serve with the U.S. Marine Corps, as together, we defend our Nation's freedoms and protect our precious way of life. We extend to you and each Marine a very Happy Birthday.