The following article is provided by Connor Martin, a policy analyst in Washington DC and a US Marine Veteran. The AMAC Foundation is honored to have Connor as an FVOP Collaborator.
It is more common than not for veterans to have pride in their service – the job they did, the dedication to their fellow patriots, and the oath they took for the Nation. And in the U.S. Marine Corps, this level of pride in service is life-long. In fact, the oft-quoted saying “Once a Marine, Always a Marine” and the Marine Corps’ official motto, “Semper Fidelis,” – which translates to “Always Faithful” – are both directly in line with, and supportive of, the enduring Marine ethos of service and allegiance to the Corps and Country.
In many ways, it is almost an expectation that Marines, even after retiring or separating from the service, still act as Marines and uphold the values of the Corps as civilians. Just because one does not wear a uniform, does not mean one simply stops being a Marine. Additionally, Marines, veterans and those close to the Corps family intimately know that nothing is done in the USMC without reason (there’s a method to every madness), and that insistence upon maintaining tradition is robust; the Marine Corps is quite resistant to change – perhaps more so than any other branch – and if change is to occur, it cannot be arbitrary or without thoughtful purpose. Of course, tradition is what binds Marines together across generations, contributes to fighting spirit, instills dedication to mission, builds camaraderie, keeps performance standards high, and ultimately keeps the service lethal, effective and sharp.
The most visible badge of Marine Corps tradition is its official symbol – the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, or EGA for short – which is brightly emblazoned on the Marine Corps flag. The EGA represents all elements of the Marine Corps as a military service – the Eagle representing the Air, the Globe signifying land and worldwide reach, and the Anchor symbolizing our naval heritage. The Marine Corps EGA and its flag – displaying the Marine colors of scarlet and gold – are straightforward, clear-cut, and bold – just like the Marine Corps itself.