The United States Marine Corps Band: A Proud History

Its illustrious history goes back to July 11, 1798 when John Adams signed an Act of Congress establishing the United States Marine Band. Originally the band was comprised of “32 drummers and fifers” who assisted in recruiting Marines and entertained residents in Philadelphia. (This was at the time the nation’s capital.) Centuries later the band, which is known as “The President’s Own”, is recognized for its role in performing at White House functions and at other public places, which total more than 500 annually. This is of no surprise since music has long been intertwined with the military and with war. This goes all the way back to ancient times. The ancient Greeks, for example were said to have used flutists to raise the spirits of warriors in combat. Indeed, one of the most iconic images of war is the painting ‘Spirit of ‘76’ by A.M. Willard, 1857, showing fifer and drummers marching in support of troops.

The Band Itselfmarine corps

The band itself is comprised of experienced musicians who are selected through a grueling audition procedure. The members must of course be Marines themselves and satisfy stringent security and physical requirements. Additionally, band members wear special rank insignia designed to show their membership in the band. The band tours the United States regularly and performs at many prestigious occasions. They perform on occasions such as:

  • United States presidential inaugurations
  • State funerals
  • State Arrival Ceremonies
  • Arlington National Cemetery military funerals
  • Friday Evening Parades are held at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

Music is just one of the ways that patriots have shown their love of country and their support for the troops. Our customers choose to do in the most important way – their service. Another way to show support for the Marines is in proudly displaying USMC home décor and US marine gifts which are all American made. There are many other sites that sell such products but many cannot make this claim.

Awesome Facts about Military Dogs

The USMC has – like other branches of our country’s military – depended upon man’s best friend in times of war. That is because as anyone who has ever owned a dog knows, they fiercely loyal to their owners and work tirelessly to protect them against danger. In fact, the use of dogs in war goes back at least as far as the Mid-7th century BC. They have helped carry supplies, sniff out explosives and psychologically assault the enemy and have performed many other services in support of their best friend – man. Here are just a few other facts about America’s war dogs.

  • Fact: There are approximately 2,500 dogs serving in the armed forces today. 'America's Battalion' Marines patrol central GarmsirMany of these dogs support our troops overseas.

  • Fact: Dogs have fought alongside soldiers in every conflict since the Revolutionary war. At this time dogs were used as message carriers and sentries. Today, they serve in a variety of jobs.

  • Fact: According to the United States War Dogs Associations, canines have saved more than 10,000 American lives. During World War I, a dog named Sgt. Stubby became the most decorated dog in history. It once saved an entire company from a deadly gas attack.

  • Fact: During WWII, the USMC nearly used dogs to attack the Japanese mainland. The assault would have been an amphibious assault lead by a battalion of specially trained canines.

  • Fact: Xerxes I of Persia was accompanied by packs of Indian hounds when he invaded Greece in 480 BC.

  • Fact: Approximately 5,000 dogs served in Vietnam.

  • Fact: The use of dogs as subjects of medical experimentation prompted major reforms. In Laboratory Animal Welfare Act was passed to govern this practice.

  • Fact: Prior to WWII, war dogs were often euthanized after service. President Bill Clinton signed a law that allowed these dogs to be adopted.

  • Fact: Today, military dogs serve as sentries, trackers, search and rescue, scouts, and mascots and therapy dogs.

Yes, man’s best friend will continue to follow him into battle protecting him every step of the way. They are currently an indispensable part of our country’s military. They are acompanion, protector, friend and guide. We have even immortalized them on some of our Marine Corps products online.

All Hail the Hoodie

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of the hoodie has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the popularity of this omnipresent article of clothing continues to confound non-wearers. But people who do wear these items including our USMC hoodies know that there is something that is timeless about them. They know that hoodies rule. But what are the origins of this popular article of clothing and why do people cling onto their hoodies? Here is some info on what is more than a fad or fashion trend for some of us.

The Origins of the Hoodie

Many people believe that the first hoodie was made back in 1919 by the Knickerbocker Knitting Company. Its former president Harold Lipson is believed to have been the first person to add a hood to a sweatshirt in order to protect athletes and laborers from the elements. Eventually workers in cold-storage warehouses and people working outdoors began to see the practicality of wearing this odd looking piece of clothing.

Why Hoodies are so Appealing

It is difficult to find a person who does not own or has not worn a hoodie at some point in his/her life. They are one of the top items in many people’s wardrobe for a good number of reasons such as:

  • Comfort: Hoodies are cozy and comfortable allowing the wearer to get into his/her own private space while still being out among others.

  • Protection: As we stated earlier, hoodies were originally designed to give workers and athletes some protection from the elements without the necessity of carrying an umbrella or clumsy overcoat. They still do this.

  • Style: Hoodies are fashionable and come in all colors, designs, etc.

  • Individuality: Hoodies allow people to express their own sense of taste. Our hoodies are embossed with the USMC emblem showing the wearer’s patriotism and love of the Corps. Some people have the logo of their favorite sports team, rock group, etc. We prefer to display the USMC emblem. We have other Marine Corps items for sale that do so as well.

  • Versatile: Although most popular in the fall and winter, hoodies are not out of place in the spring and summer. That is because the hood can be quickly removed to cool the wearer down.

Finally, despite the fact that there has been some push back against hoodies in recent times, it continues to be a popular part of many wardrobes. It has gone beyond a simple fashion statement to a lifestyle choice.

Tips for Staying Safe During Outdoor Workouts

Anyone who has ever served knows that physical fitness is a never-ending journey. It is not simply a goal that once met can be ignored. Marines in particular dedicate themselves to a lifestyle that means that they must physically challenge themselves 365 days a year. However, when it comes to exercising outdoors the desire to challenge oneself must be weighed against the possibility of injury. This is especially true of engaging in outdoor exercises during the winter. The cold can make muscles more prone to strain and other damage. So that you can enjoy the exhilaration of outdoor exercise while keeping your workout routine safe and effective, we would like to offer you some of these tips.

  • Check weather conditions and wind chill: According to experts, wind chill levels below 18F (minus 28C) can cause frostbite to occur on exposed skin in 30 minutes or less. Thus, it is always a good idea to get the forecast before exercising outdoors during the winter.

  • Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia: The early signs of frostbite include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat more rapidly than it can be produced. In both cases you should get indoors immediately.

  • Dress in layers: In order to find the right layer of clothing you should wear during outdoor exercise, try some experimentation. Dress warmly but not too warmly as you may need to remove some layers of clothing if you begin to perspire too much. We have a Marine Corps jacket and other Marine Corps gifts such as hats and sweat pants that can keep you warm as you express your pride.

  • Stay Hydrated: Simply because you are more prone to produce more sweat in the warm months than in winter does not mean that you should ignore your body’s requirements for water. Your body needs to replenish fluids lost during intense workouts regardless of whether it is warm outside or not.

  • Remember to warm up prior to exercising: Warm muscles work more efficiently and are less prone to strain than muscles that have had not been stretched. Try walking for a brief period prior to working out.

In short, there is a certain sense of exhilaration involved in exercising outdoors during any season. But even the most dedicated among us must take certain precautions to ensure that doing so does not put one’s health at risk.