A grayscale photograph of a line of military personnel standing next to armored vehicles. The soldier in the foreground, wearing a camouflaged uniform and helmet, holds a communication device. Behind him, rows of soldiers stand at attention, and multiple military vehicles are parked, all under a partly cloudy sky.

Philippine Marines marks their 72nd founding anniversary

Thursday, January 5, 2023 12:00 AM
Major General Chaerlton Gaerlan heading the cake cutting ceremony.

Manila, Philippines– Philippine Marine Corps commemorates their 72nd birthday celebration at the Jurado Hall, Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on November 7, 2022.

The Philippine Marines invited several key proponents during the event. Including President Ferdinard R. Marcos Jr. as the guest of honor, Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine Navy major service commanders, other civilian dignitaries, fellow marines, and some important guests.

Commandant Major General Chaerlton Gaerlan led the celebration of the 72nd founding anniversary with an awarding and the traditional cake-cutting ceremony, highlighting the theme "Team Marines@72: Katuwang ng Bawat Pilipino Tungo sa Mas Mapayapa, Maunlad, at Nagkakaisang Banat."

The Corps reflects on its glorious past and honors the illustrious legacy that the Marine forebears have constructed over the last seven decades. In their birthday celebration, the Marine Corps reaffirms its commitment to the Filipino people in their pursuit of peace and progress.

Cake-Cutting Ceremony

The 72nd cake-cutting tradition was streamed live on the Office of the President's Facebook Page; the live stream commenced as soon as the Guest of Honor arrived at Philippine Marine Corps Headquarters. Chief Master Sgt. Antonio Limitares proceeded with a welcoming remark.

President Marcos led the presentation of awards to the achievers and civilian partners of Philippine Marine Corps, adding up with a compiled video presentation of the Corps' timeless achievements since its activation.

Afterwards, MGen Gaerlan gave a speech urging all Marines to remain dedicated to their sworn duties and "prepare for a better future" for the Corps, following a reaffirmation of the Marine Oath.

President Marcos takes a trip down memory lane

The Philippine Marine Corps organized an audiovisual presentation with old photographs of Marcos Jr. when he began his military career as a member of the Marine Basic Officer Course (MBOC) Class 1 at Fort Bonifacio.

The President described seeing his old images as a "pleasant surprise", reminiscing the days when he joined the Marines where he learned brotherhood and camaraderie during his stay as a Marine troop.

"The Marines taught me that even if you think, you cannot manage it, if you dig deep, you will be able to. That is just one of the many lessons I learned when I spent time with the Philippine Marines Corps and in the military."

He proceeded to laud the Marines for their numerous achievements, particularly in securing the safety of the citizens and their great contribution towards nation-building efforts.

The President then encouraged the Marines to continue their exemplary service and nationalism in the hopes that they would pass on their virtues to the following generation of Marines.

"We will work harmoniously towards our collective goal of serving the Filipino people, asserting our sovereignty, as well as defending the country's territorial integrity," he added.

President Marcos Jr. was gifted the Ginunting Polo by the Commandant of PMC as a form of appreciation for his presence during the 72nd Birthday. The blade resembles a scissor's blade that is typically 20 inches in length. It originated from the central region of the Philippines and is the official weapon of the Marines when it comes to close hand-to-hand combat fighting.

Likewise, PMC presented another token of appreciation which is the Philippine Marine Pattern Battle Dress that is worn by the fellow Marines.

Traditions and Transitions

Another part of the event was the Marine Battle Call, a memorial showcasing the valiant Marine warriors who fought for the country at the expense of their own.

The eldest and youngest Marines eventually marched forward to the center of the aisle and passed down the traditional Guidon, or military flag. The Guidon represents the transfer of authority and responsibility from the senior marine warrior to the junior marine warrior. Marine warriors must, in essence, carry this symbol with pride and respect. This is considered one of the finest traditions in the Philippine Marine Corps.

The Marines unveiled their iconic 5-tier anniversary cake. MGen Gaerlan initiated the cake-cutting ceremony and handed it directly to their pivotal guests as a symbol of gratitude for continuously defending the country.

Pre-Anniversary Events

Various fund-raising activities were prepared before the birthday celebration in support of the Philippine Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Program, which provided medical, recovery, and reintegration support to the troops who were wounded-in-action and educational assistance to the dependents of the Fallen Marines.

Some of these activities include Book Reviews, AVP, Tarp Making & Essay Writing Contest, Race for our Heroes virtual triathlon, Race for Our Heroes motorcycle edition 2, LTOPF Caravan, Wreath Laying ceremony, Commandant's Cup Shoot Fest, Canteen Cup Golf Tournament, Homecoming/Kumustahan 2022, and Peace-ta Marino.

General Gaerlan gave out his birthday message, "As we relish 72 years of success, I enjoin all Marines to take this moment to look forward to and prepare for a better future for the Corps. With our strong resolve to uphold our working principle of Team Marines, there is no doubt that we will accomplish the tasks ahead. Happy 72nd Birthday! Hurrah!"

Where it All Began

The abundant history of the Philippine Marine Corps traces back to 1950 when then-Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Ramon Magsaysay created a highly mobile and hard-hitting sea-borne force capable of striking against the dissident HUKBALAHAP or "Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon" and other lawless elements entrenched along the vast coastal hideaways in the archipelago.

Company A was formally activated on November 2, 1950 under General Order no. 319 Section VI Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which authorized the formation of a Marine Company as a unit of the Philippine Naval Patrol (now known as the Philippine Navy). 6 Officers, 230 Enlisted Personnel, and volunteers comprised the first Marine Company.

On the unit's 5th anniversary, a Headquarters, Service Company and 2nd Marine Company were formed, with then-Lieutenant Commander Gregorio L. Lim serving as the First Battalion Commander. In addition, the group selected November 7 as its official annual celebration date.

The Philippine Marines evolved into a Corps throughout time. Around 10,000 Marines are now serving in the organization. Often referred to as "The few, the proud." for only select men and women answer the call of Honor, Duty, and Valor.

Even though numerous wins and breakthroughs have been accomplished, the Corps continues to progress and become a more capable and powerful amphibious force. Currently, MGen. Charlton Sean M. Gaerlan PN(M) is the 35th Commandant and the prime leader of the organization.

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Maritime Soul, Occupational Health and Safety, Specialized Forces, Training as a routine grind. Relevant and Reliable, Ethos and Enthusiasm, Adaptive, Duty to God Country and People, Yield to the interest of the Corps.

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