Semper fi, devil dogs. It’s that time of year again, a day when the U.S. military’s most spirited branch throws down to celebrate its founding. As the Marine Corps hits birthday number 247 this year, its members will no doubt take to pubs, clubs and (evidently) highly trafficked expressways to honor their beloved branch’s Nov. 10, 1775 founding.
If you happen to be one such Marine planning to party like it’s also your birthday, here are a few tips for getting through it in one piece.
1. Prepare a hearty meal and purchase several bottles of Pedialyte. Your body will thank you in the morning.
2. Iron your dress blues. Nobody likes a wrinkly blood stripe.
3. Practice saying “OORAH!” in the mirror every day. You want to hit that intonation just right, so everyone knows you’re legit.
4. Scheme with your battle buddies on a plan of attack to ensure the acquisition of a table at your favorite watering hole. Assuming you’re in full regalia, you’ll want some place to hang your cover, gloves, cape, or sword when the revelry turns raucous. If not, it’ll at least be nice to have a spot to sit and sip water to dilute the 12 Yeunglings you downed while belting out Kenny Loggins songs.
5. Better yet, strategically plan a visit to Tun Tavern to celebrate like the Marines of yore. While the original may have burned down, there is another iteration standing in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Just remember, what happens at Tun Tavern will likely stay in the collective conscious and be celebrated for the next 247 years, no matter how dubious it is.
6. Say a prayer to his holiness, Chesty Puller, to gain the strength necessary to get through the night.
7. Buy crayons in advance. There’s nothing worse than getting home after a night of debauchery only to realize there are no snacks to down from a bare chest-resting plate as you drift into dreams of Gen. Mattis.
8. Rinse, repeat for the 248th Marine Corps birthday in 2023.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.