Happy 236th Birthday To The US Marine Corps
Today is the 236th birthday of the US Marine Corps. RollinSD gives you one big OORAH. I have always heard marines say this and have wondered what it really meant. For those of you who have also wondered here you go.
There are several potential sources from which the word “oorah” originated.
The 1st Amphibious Reconnaissance Company, FMFPAC can be credited with the introduction of “Ooh-rah!” into the Marine Corps in 1953, shortly after the Korean War. Recon Marines served aboard the USS Perch (ASSP-313), a WWII-era diesel submarine retrofitted to carry Navy UDT and Recon Marines. Whenever the boat was to dive, the 1MC (PA system) would announce “DIVE! DIVE!”, followed by the sound of the diving klaxon: “AHUGA!”
In 1953 or 1954, while on a conditioning run, former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps John R. Massaro, while serving as company Gunnery Sergeant of 1st Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion, simulated the “Dive” horn sound “AHUGA!” as part of the cadence. Legend has it, he took it with him when he went to serve as an instructor at the Drill Instructor school at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. He there passed it on to the Drill Instructor students and they, in turn, passed it on to their recruits where it eventually and naturally became a part of the Recon cadence, and thereafter infiltrated Recon Marine lexicon. Over time, “AHUGA!” morphed into the shorter, simpler “Oorah!” Today, the official Marine Corps Training Reference Manual on the history of Marine Recon is titled “AHUGA!”
Other possible origins of “Oorah!” exist. One states that the term is derived from the Turkish phrase “vur ha!” translated as “strike!” or “kill them all!”, which was used as a battlecry at the Ottoman Army and adopted as a Russian battlecry “Urrah!”[
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