Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps, which was celebrating its 241st year of helping to defend America on Thursday. The branch of the U.S. armed forces that describes itself as "one of the most elite fighting forces in the world" lives up to its name by navigating the world's waterways, but it also can participate in ground combat.
If that comes as somewhat of a surprise, read on to know these additional 10 facts about the Marines that may be overlooked by some.
1. In a poll among all branches of the U.S. armed forces, the Marines was the one that showed the most support for Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. Sixty percent of the Marines said they intended to vote for him.
2. Officers in the Marines can earn anywhere from $1,468 per month as a recruit up to $15,401 per month as a flag officer, depending on years of service, according to the Houston Chronicle.
3. The Marines introduced its updated policy on enlistees having tattoos and where they can go this past summer. Places on the body where tattoos are forbidden for Marines include, but are not limited to, on the neck, face and hand. The new policy also restricts the number of tattoos that are visible while a Marine is in uniform.
4. An increase in drug and alcohol use among Marines can result in strict disciplinary measures, including a dishonorable discharge along, losing benefits and imprisonment, ABC News reported. The Marines also has a "Substance Abuse Program Policy" that takes steps to counsel people who violate its related policies.
5. Marines are set to be outfitted with technologically advanced uniforms that are flame resistant. The new uniforms are expected to be available for all Marines by "late fiscal year 2017," the uniforms' designer told Marines.mil.
6. The official motto of the U.S. Marines Corps is "Semper Fidelis," a Latin phrase translated as "always faithful." However, another, unofficial motto could be a quote offered by retired Gen. James Mattis: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
7. The Marines are nicknames "Leathernecks," a terms that "originated from the wide and stiff leather neck-piece that was part of the Marine Corps uniform from 1798 until 1872, according to the USMC Press.
8. The Marines participate in ground combat as well as that on the water. "The Marines’ first land battle on foreign soil was in Libya, where 600 Marines stormed the city of Derna to rescue the crew of the USS Philadelphia from pirates," according to the USO.
9. The Marines have a heavy presence the Middle East, where the U.S. has been leading an international military coalition targeting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. Some of their duties include taking on "quick-response force operations, security missions, maritime and land raids, and ship visit-board-search-seizure operations," according to Military.com.
10. There has been an element of anti-Muslim sentiment in the Marines in the past few months. While one veteran Marine told the New York Times in August "I was often the first Muslim many of them had ever met, but there was no racism, no bigotry," some recent instances suggest otherwise.
A Muslim-American recruit of the Marines was found dead at a training facility in June, prompting an investigation into drill instructors who were accused of "hazing, physical abuse, assault and failure of supervision," the Wall Street Journal reported. In September, a Muslim Marine said he was put in a laundry dryer and called a terrorist at the same South Carolina facility where the Muslim recruit was found dead three months earlier, according to the Washington Post.