The 11 Things You Might Not Know About The US Marine Corps

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Photo: Flickr/DVIDSHUB

On November 10th, the U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 237th birthday.”The few, the proud” who serve are not only part of one of the most effective fighting forces in history, but also one of the most storied organisations in the world.

Here are 11 things you might not know about the Marines.

1. The first retired Marine to ever receive an honorary promotion was in a Stanley Kubrick movie.

2. Why they've fought 'From the Halls of Montezuma…'

3. …'To the shores of Tripoli.'

In 1801, the United States decided to do something about piracy in the Mediterranean, and President Jefferson sent in the Navy. In 1805, the Marines finished the job. The Battle of Derne, on the shores of Tripoli during the First Barbary War, was the decisive action of the war, and the first overseas land battle fought by the United States military.

In 2011, the U.S. Marine Corps returned to Libya as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

4. Why are Marines called leathernecks?

5. The Marines were held back at Normandy.

6. When the Fast Food Wars are fought, a Marine will come out on top.

In the 1993 film Demolition Man, Sandra Bullock's character makes reference to the Fast Food Wars, of which only one restaurant survived -- Taco Bell. This is probably in no small part because the founder of Taco Bell was Glen Bell, a Marine who served in the Pacific theatre in World War II.

The Fast Food Wars would have been quite savage, however. Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesars, and Tom Monoghan, founder of Domino's Pizza, are also former Marines.

7. An American to orbit the Earth? You're gonna need a Marine for that.

8. There are some pretty famous Marines who aren't't famous for being Marines.

Before he became famous for co-hosting the Tonight Show, Ed McMahon was a Marine fighter pilot with 6 air medals and 85 combat missions under his belt.

While Drew Carey was a reservist in the Marines and looking for a way to make a little extra money, he tried stand-up comedy--it worked. Lee Harvey Oswald's time in the Marine Corps probably didn't hurt his tragic feat of getting three rounds off in six seconds. Robert Ludlum's time in the Marine Corps no doubt informed his novels about a super-spy named Jason Bourne. And Paulie probably could have taken Rocky in a fight -- actor Burt Young is a former Marine.

9. The Corps was born in a bar.

11. If you're fighting a war in space, you're going to need a few good men.

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