The following is a transcript of the 2021 Marine Corps birthday message delivered through video by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy E. Black.
CMC Gen. David H. Berger:
When our nation called, Marines were there to defend her.
Our enemies now pose an ever growing threat to America and our way of life. The Marine Corps must be prepared to fight and win. Tonight, Marines around the world proudly celebrate 246 years of defending our great nation.
Our warrior lineage in the battles that have been fought and won across generations have become legend. Throughout the centuries the Marine Corps' relentless pursuit of excellence is unchanged. We are still made from the same grit and steel, with the same moral instincts, and the same unending will to fight. Marines remain physically mentally and emotionally tough, forged in the crucible to overcome fear and adversity. In these ways, the Corps and the lifelong faith we place in each other, is proudly unchanging.
On the 11th day of September 2001 our country was attacked. Like the attack on Pearl Harbor 60 years before, that day changed everything.
Sgt. Maj. Troy E. Black:
Our Marines have fought and won hostile places like Anbar, Sangin, Fallujah, Tillman, Mosul. We earned our reputation as an elite counterinsurgency force but that remains a part of who we are.
Marines are what Marines have always been is amphibious warfighters. And the changing battle now requires us to return to our origins, relying on foundations built by the Marines that came before us. The Marine Corps' identity remains the same. Our infantry battalions will remain at the center of what we do and the Marine and their rifle will continue to be one of the deadliest weapons on the battlefield. But being ready now requires us to return to the seas and shores of maritime terrain.
The history of the Marine Corps is marked by a series of paradigm shifts, and this is one of them. The hard won lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan in the blood Marines have shed there will not soon be forgotten. We're using the lessons of our past combined with the weapons of the future to reimagine our warfighting capabilities through continuous adaptation, and experimentation.
Marines around the globe, Marines like you, are a vital part of this effort. Your ideas, your feedback, will be key to moving the Marine Corps into the future, and ensure that we will continue our legacy of winning battles
...and to the Marines who have served our nation and returned home to continue to fight and win battles of a different time in their own communities, we thank you.
As Marine brothers and sisters, semper fidelis is a pledge that we promise to live by. The work of our Marine veterans is a living testament to the faith Marines keep with each other, with our Corps, and with our country. The next generation of Marines may operate differently and in different places than the Marines who were the Eagle Globe and Anchor today. But they will join a long and proud heritage of Marine fighters who have never turned from a threat., never turned from an enemy, who will always remain most ready when our nation is least ready. Because we must protect our shores and we must protect our citizens. It's still gonna be the Marines who defend this nation.
Semper Fidelis and Happy Birthday Marines