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15 Reasons Why Devil Dogs Are Badass

Chesty Puller meme

1. No Legs, One Arm? No Problem

Todd Love stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. The resulting blast blew off both of Love’s legs and a part of his left arm.

After he retired from the Marine Corps, Love joined Team X-T.R.E.M.E.. Despite having no legs and only one hand, he has skydived solo, kayaked, skied with the help of a special device, surfed in Hawaii and, incredibly, wrestled a 400-pound alligator in The Sunshine State. His biggest accomplishment, however, came in 2012 when he completed The Beast – a grueling 10.5-mile obstacle course in Leesburg, Virginia.

2. Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Three Marines light their smokes off a .50-cal machine gun barrel that was red-hot from firing at North Korean troops during the Korean War.

They are (L-R): Cpl. Charles E. Fritchman, Pfc James Hickman, and Sgt. Donald MacGillivray.

3. Marine Veteran Takes Out Would-Be Robber

It took less than five seconds for Daniel Gaskey, a Texas firefighter and Marine veteran, to stop an attempted robbery with a simple chokehold.

The 30 year-old firefighter and Marine veteran took down an armed robber with his bare hands during an attempted convenience store holdup on June 26. Gaskey served as an intelligence Marine from 2003–2011, and deployed to Iraq for nine months in 2005 with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.

4. One Shot, One Kill

"Every Marine a rifleman," regardless of Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), has been one of the hallmarks of the Marine Corps throughout its history. Marines are in a league of their own when it comes to shooting prowess.

It is a point of pride that Marines are the only service that trains every recruit to fire from the 500 yard line. Yes, the length of 5 football fields and without a scope. Just to give perspective on how badass this is, an able-body target looks nearly like a gnat from 500 yards. If they fail, recruits are kept behind until they qualify. EVERY Marine is a rifleman.

5. The Pied Piper of Saipan

During WW2, Guy Gabaldon was an 18-year-old Marine who singlehandedly persuaded 1,500 soldiers at the battle of Saipan to surrender.

Gabaldon wrote in his memoir, Saipan: Suicide Island, “The first night I was on Saipan, I went out on my own...I always worked on my own, and brought back two prisoners using my backstreet Japanese.”

Gabaldon was reprimanded by his superior officers, and threatened with a court-martial for leaving his post. However, he disobeyed orders and continued. He carefully approached a cave, shot the enemy guards outside, moved off to one side of the cave, and yelled in Japanese, "You're surrounded and have no choice but to surrender. Come out, and you will not be killed! I assure you will be well-treated. We do not want to kill you!"The next morning he says he returned with 50 Japanese prisoners, and later, many more. As a result, Gabaldon was permitted by his commanding officer to act as a "lone wolf" operator. For his exploits, he became known as The Pied Piper of Saipan.

6. Pirate Fighting, Ass-Kicking Marines

In the nineteenth century, Marines were sent into action against the Barbary pirates, a group of North African corsairs that had spent years raiding American merchant shipping and extorting costly ransoms and tributes.

In 1805, Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and a small contingent of Marines arrived in Egypt and assisted American naval agent William Eaton in assembling a mercenary army to overthrow the Barbary ruler of Tripoli. The victory was the first ever battle fought by the United States on foreign soil, and helped lead to a favorable peace deal in the First Barbary War.

7. This Marine Jumped on Two Hand-Grenades and Lived

Three years after illegally joining the Marines at the age of fourteen, Jacklyn Lucas snuck onto a ship bound for Iwo Jima.

Lucas stormed the beach without a rifle and threw himself on top of two grenades to protect his team. He survived, and earned the Medal of Honor at the age of 17.

8. Space Marines Coming Soon

The Marines want to literally be “First to Fight.”

The US Marine Corps is currently working on Project Hot Eagle, a program that when finished, may be able to place squads of Marines anywhere on the planet in two hours’ notice.

9. This Marine Took ‘Adapt, Improvise, Overcome’ Literally

Major General Ray Smith of USMC (Ret) fought in Vietnam. Smith earned a nickname in Vietnam: “e-tool.” The e-tool is a small, foldable shovel.

At one point, when joined in close combat with enemy forces, and with his firearm no longer up to the task, Smith resorted to his e-tool as a weapon to dispatch an enemy soldier.

10. Founded in a Tavern, Marines are Older than the United States

The Marine Corps is older than the United States itself, predating the Declaration of Independence by a year.

In keeping with their rough-and-tumble baddassery, Marines take pride in the fact they are the only branch of service that was founded in a tavern: Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, to be exact.

11. One of a Thousand Reasons Why Chesty is Legendary

Say the name “Chesty” around any Marine and expect to hear a boisterous “Oohrah!”

Chesty Puller joined the Marines as a private, got promoted to sergeant and then became an officer as a lieutenant, then got discharged, enlisted as a private again, then became an officer again, and ended up being a lieutenant general. Chesty’s exploits, fierce loyalty to his troops, and tactical prowess are only some of the many reasons why he is a legend.

12. Look Up Deadshot, You’ll Find This Marine

Carlos Hathcock was a Marine sniper who shot an enemy sniper through the enemy’s own scope, hitting him in the eye and killing him. Yes, that really happened.

During the Vietnam War, Hathcock had 93 confirmed kills of North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong personnel. In the Vietnam War, kills were required to be confirmed by an acting third party, who had to be an officer besides the sniper's spotter, but this was difficult to accomplish in reality.Hathcock estimated that he had actually killed between 300 and 400 enemy personnel during his time in Vietnam.

13. The Marine Who Rode Lightning

The only pilot in recorded history to eject and descend through a lightning storm.

In 1959, William Rankin, a pilot in the US Marine Corps, ejected from his plane at 47,000 feet, above a thunderstorm. His descent took 40 minutes through the middle of the storm, yet he survived.

14. Hard-Core Marine Corps

The discipline required to be a Marine, and the training Marines must endure, is unrivaled. The wartime situations Marines have found themselves in are the stuff of legend -- and you’ll find these stories and more at the Marine Corps Museum in Virginia.

It’s enough, even if you’re not a Marine, to make you cry “Ooh-rah!” The museum’s atrium wall is lined with memorable quotes by the dozen, including Daniel Daly’s brazen: “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”

15. Semper Fidelis

Marine Corps pride and faithfulness is unparalleled.General James Amos said it best:

“A Marine is a Marine...There's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine.”

Happy Birthday Jarheads!

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