A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 01, 2013
“There are no ex-Marines”

The United States Marine Corps was founded in 1775. Once someone has earned the title “Marine” that person is a Marine for life: there are (1) active duty Marines, (2) retired Marines, (3) reserve Marines, and (4) Marine veterans. “There are no ex-Marines” is a popular bumper sticker slogan.

“There are no ex-Marines” has been cited in print since at least 1929. “Once a Marine, always a Marine” has been cited in print since at least 1907.


Wikipedia: United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. The Marine Corps is a component of the United States Department of the Navy, often working closely with naval forces for training, transportation, and logistics; however, the Marine Corps is a separate branch.

Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of the Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II.

Google Books
The Leatherneck
Marine Corps Institute
Volume 12
1929
Pg. ?:
THERE ARE NO “EX"-MARINES
Frank X. Lambert
National Chief of Staff, Marine Corps

Google Books
The Leatherneck
Marine Corps Institute
Volume 15
1932
Pg. ?
Recruiting is in full swing at the Armory and from the number of ex-soldiers, ex-sailors, and former Marines (I say former Marines because there are no ex-Marines; you know, once a Marine always a Marine) who are applying for membership, it looks as though we will have our companies well filled with former service men.

5 February 1941, Springfield (MA) Daily Republican, “Marine Corps League Fetes Veteran, Honors Rookie Just Entering Corps,” pg. 4, col. 6:
Mr. Burke asserted there are no ex-marines, recalling the expression, “Once a marine, always a marine.”
(Nicholas J. Burke, then the oldest marine in Western Massachusetts—ed.)

Google News Archive
29 July 1946, Eugene (OR) Register-Guard, “Marines’ Part In War Told,” pg. 5, col. 4:
‘There are no ex-marines,” Major General Larkin told assembled marines and their wives at the Osburn Hotel Saturday night. “Once a marine, always a marine—that’ our motto!”

Google News Archive
28 September 1946, The Pueblo Indicator (Pueblo, CO), “History of Heroism: Marine Corps To Observe Anniversary of Founding,” sec. 2, pg. 3, col. 3:
Former marines in various fields have helped in rehabilitation of other members of the corps, this co-operation being cited as one reason for the boast that “there are no ex-marines.”

Heritage Press International
elected USMC Slogans:  (excerpt from Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines, copyright 2001 Marion F. Sturkey)
(...)
Once a Marine, Always a Marine: This truism is now the official motto of the Marine Corps League.  The origin of the statement is credited to a gung-ho Marine Corps master sergeant, Paul Woyshner.  During a barroom argument he shouted, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” MSgt. Woyshner was right.  Once the title “U.S. Marine” has been earned, it is retained.  There are no ex-Marines or former-Marines.  There are (1) active duty Marines, (2) retired Marines, (3) reserve Marines, and (4) Marine veterans.  Nonetheless, once one has earned the title, he remains a Marine for life. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, April 01, 2013 • Permalink