A happy birthday is in order today, as the United States Marine Corps turns 236 years old.
Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, and the only Marine to receive five Navy Crosses. His service in the Marine Corps spanned four decades. He led Marines in 19 campaigns and some of the most critical battles of the 20th century.
At the Battle of Choisin Reservoir, Puller and his men found themselves holed up in the town of Koto-ri, completely surrounded by ten full Divisions of Chinese Infantry. Heavily outnumbered, and fighting in sub-zero temperatures, Puller’s troops broke the enemy lines, smashed through seven enemy divisions, and then stayed behind as a rear guard, bearing the brunt of the Chinese onslaught so that the rest of the Marines could complete their retreat. It was during that battle when he made the famous quote, “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.”