The United States Marine Corps celebrates its 242nd birthday on Nov. 10, 2017.

The day marks the anniversary of the approval of two Marine battalions to join the American Revolution, and today marks the occasion served as a “yearly reminder of the brave spirit that has compelled young men and women to defend our nation and its interests for more than two centuries,” according to

Robert B. Neller of the General, U.S. Marine Corps had this to say:

Today, as we celebrate our 242nd birthday, we must remember who we are, where we came from, and why we’re here. We must remember the past, honor those who are no longer with us, focus on today’s battles, and get ready for tomorrow. We can and will prevail as we always have, in any clime and place. But we must prevail together, united by the unyielding spirit in each of us that makes our Corps unique – that willingness to put our Corps and fellow Marines ahead of ourselves. Victory in battle comes through the integrated efforts of many – teamwork. We value the sacrifices and contributions of every Marine and Sailor, as well as our family members without whose support we would not be able to accomplish our mission. And we remain committed to being our Nation’s Expeditionary Force in Readiness that sets the standard for honor, discipline, and courage. I am proud of each and every one of you. Happy Birthday, Marines!

242 years later, the Corps is hundreds of thousands strong

As of 2016, there are about 183,594 active members of the Marines serving. Their members are younger on average than the Air Force, Army and Navy, according to the Marine Corps Community Services. Celebrate the day by thanking a Marine in your life for their service.