John A. Lejeune

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John A. Lejeune bigraphy, stories - United States Marine Corps Commandant

John A. Lejeune : biography

January 10, 1867 – November 20, 1942

Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune, (January 10, 1867 – November 20, 1942) was the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Known as the "greatest of all Leathernecks" and the "Marine’s Marine", he served for nearly 40 years. His service included commanding the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division during World War I and culminated with his service as the 5th Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute.

Marine Corps Birthday message

In the Marine Corps’ annual celebration of the establishment of the Marine Corps on November 10, 1775 at Tun Tavern, the following message from MajGen John A. Lejeune is read:

MARINE CORPS ORDERS No. 47 (Series 1921) HEADQUARTERS U.S. MARINE CORPS Washington, November 1, 1921 
759. The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10 November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt. 
 (1) On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history. 
 (2) The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security. 
 (3) In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue. 
 (4) This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps. 
JOHN A. LEJEUNE, Major General Commandant 75705—21 

Founded the Marine Corps League

The Marine Corps League is the only Congressionally chartered United States Marine Corps-related veterans organization in the United States. Its Congressional Charter was approved by the 75th U.S. Congress and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937. The organization credits its founding — in 1923 — to legendary Marine Corps Commandant John A. Lejeune.

Marine Corps career

1890s

After receiving his Marine Corps commission, Lejeune reported to Marine Barracks, New York on 31 March 1890 for Marine Corps "indoctrination and instruction". He reported for duty to the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia, on 3 November 1890. While in Norfolk, he met Ellie Harrison Murdaugh; they were engaged just before he began his sea duty. From 1 October 1891 to 28 July 1893, Lejeune served on board and was promoted to first lieutenant on 26 February 1892. On 28 August 1893, he reported for duty at the Norfolk Barracks, where he served until 31 July 1897. While stationed in Norfolk again, he married Miss Murdaugh on 23 October 1895.

On 2 August 1897, Lejeune assumed command of the Marine Guard of the , where he served throughout the Spanish-American War. He was detached from the Cincinnati on 17 February 1899, and on 18 February 1899, joined the to command the Marine Guard. He was promoted to captain on 3 March 1899 and left his position on the Massachusetts on 10 May 1900.