U.S. Marine Corps celebrates 241st birthday

John Kerry
In this Friday, Aug. 14, 2015 photo, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other dignitaries, watch as U.S. Marines raise the U.S. flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana, Cuba. Kerry attended the reopening of the U.S. Embassy after 54 years of broken diplomatic relations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(WBAY) – Thursday marks the 241st birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The corps was initially known as the Continental Marines. The force was founded on Nov. 10, 1775. The American Revolution was underway, and the Continental Congress called for two battalions of Marines to fight on sea and shore.

The first Marines were led by Captain Samuel Nicholas.

The Marine Corps motto of Semper Fidelis, or Semper Fi, translates to “always faithful.”

The birthday of the Marines Corps comes one day before Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11.

Learn more about the U.S. Marine Corps:

Marine Corps timeline

Origins of the Marine Corps

7 Things You May Not Know About the Marine Corps

241st birthday message from Commandant Robert B. Neller