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What makes the USMC special Pt 3 The Riflemans Creed

Updated on September 12, 2009

This is the 3rd in a series of what makes the US Armed Forces a unique force for good throughout the world. This installment explores the United States Marine Corps Creed. A Creed is a statement of belief, usually religious; for the Marines I’ve known, the Rifleman’s Creed is nearly as fundamental. It is easy to understand why when you recognize the unique mission of the Marine Corps of rapid force projection, most usually requires them to fight outnumbered and win, thus the warrior fundamentals of the Infantry Rifleman must be instilled in every member of the Corp. It is the great common bond of all Marines that lasts a life time.

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea,[3] using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces.

In boot camp at Parris Island or San Diego, and in the BasicSchool at Quantico, no one escapes from the Rifleman's Creed.  Every Marine is trained, first and foremost, as a rifleman, for it is the rifleman who must close with and destroy the enemy.  The rifleman remains the most basic tenet of Marine Corps doctrine.  All else revolves around him.  Marine Aviation, Marine Armor, Marine Artillery, and all supporting arms and war fighting assets exist to support the rifleman.  It is believed that MGen. William H. Rupertus, USMC, authored the creed shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  It is commonly known as the Rifleman's Creed, but it has also been called "My Rifle: The Creed of a United States Marine."  Every Marine must memorize this creed.  And, every Marine must live by the creed.

The Rifleman's Creed

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than any enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will....

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but Peace.

USMC Core Values

The US Marine Corps lifestyle also requires faithful, unflinching and diligent application in life of the Marine Corps Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, and emphasizes the lifetime commitment to the values and the brotherhood of Marines. The last sentence in Marine Corps Value of Commitment is the best summary of what a Maine expects of himself and his fellow Marines.

Honor:  Honor requires each Marine to exemplify the ultimate standard in ethical and moral conduct.  Honor is many things; honor requires many things.  A U.S. Marine must never lie, never cheat, never steal, but that is not enough.  Much more is required.  Each Marine must cling to an uncompromising code of personal integrity, accountable for his actions and holding others accountable for theirs.  And, above all, honor mandates that a Marine never sully the reputation of his Corps.

Courage:  Simply stated, courage is honor in action -- and more.  Courage is moral strength, the will to heed the inner voice of conscience, the will to do what is right regardless of the conduct of others.  It is mental discipline, an adherence to a higher standard.  Courage means willingness to take a stand for what is right in spite of adverse consequences.  This courage, throughout the history of the Corps, has sustained Marines during the chaos, perils, and hardships of combat.  And each day, it enables each Marine to look in the mirror -- and smile.

Commitment:  Total dedication to Corps and Country.  Gung-ho Marine teamwork.  All for one, one for all.  By whatever name or cliché, commitment is a combination of (1) selfless determination and (2) a relentless dedication to excellence.  Marines never give up, never give in, never willingly accept second best.  Excellence is always the goal.  And, when their active duty days are over, Marines remain reserve Marines, retired Marines, or Marine veterans.  There is no such thing as an ex-Marine or former-Marine.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.  Commitment never dies.

Special Note

I've included a link to a page from one of my Hubber friends Ruben Rivera a Marine now serving that offers a great view on the lifestyle and commitment of Marines.

To all Marines who read this I offer a special thanks and a Semper Fi from an old Soldier..God Bless


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    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

      And God Bless you Leon and the United States Marines!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Very nice work. The Marine Corp emblem is awesome. They are fantastic in every way. God Bless You Precious Friend.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 8 years ago from Arizona

      Good job! Salute!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      50 Cal - Glad you enjoyed the visit, see I told ya I wouldn't leave your Huny out of the Poetry!! Semper Fi my Friend!!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 8 years ago from Arizona

      At Parris Island from the day issued, your rifle was first and foremost the life line of the recruit. If you fell while doing any activity, the rifle was never to hit the ground, you hit the ground first protecting the rifle. You never referred to your rifle as a "gun" or you would find yourself running from barracks to barracks with your rifle in your right hand naked while holding your dick in your left hand and after gaining permission to stand on deck you stated "This is my rifle,(while holding it high) this is my gun, (while holding your dick stretched out)This ones for fighting (rifle) this ones for fun (dick)" then you asked for permission to be released and moved on to the next barracks and did so until 6 platoons had received their entertainment. To this day I'll never understand why a recruit would use the word gun after seeing this done by another, but like comic re-leaf you could count on seeing it at least once a week. Ah good times.