There’s “oorah… yawn” and there’s “OORAH!”

You can’t fool Marines for very long.

Tip of the biretta to Te Deum:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    These are smart marines. They know when to cheer, and they know when not to boo.

  2. Centristian says:

    Watching this I can’t help but recall that the stirring “Hail to the Chief” was chosen as the presidential acclamation march by Mrs. James K. Polk. She began to have this attention-getting march played at official ceremonies because her husband was a very small and unimpressive man who would otherwise go unnoticed when he entered the room during public events.

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’d never heard that anecdote, and I was (at least at one time) fairly conversant with the pre-Civil War presidents on account of my undergraduate major in history (with a concentration in military, so the Mexican War was of interest, not to mention that a bunch of my relatives fought in it as kind of a warm-up to the War of Yankee Aggression).
    Polk just wasn’t all that short for his time (lots of Presidents were around his size, Lincoln was an anomaly) and he had an energetic personality (he was a gung-ho debater and a trial lawyer). Besides, Tyler was the first president to have “HTTC” played.

  4. Random Friar says:

    Respect the Commander-in-Chief, always. That is in every serviceman’s heart.
    I have yet to hear of an order to be excited. That is from the heart.

  5. Centristian says:


    Andrew Jackson was actually the first living president acclaimed by the song (the first president acclaimed by it being late George Washington, in fact). It was Sarah Polk, however, who would make consistent use of it for presidential events. As William Seale, noted presidential historial writes, “Polk was not an impressive figure, so some announcement was necessary to avoid the embarrassment of his entering a crowded room unnoticed. At large affairs the band…rolled the drums as they played the march…and a way was cleared for the President.”

  6. Mike Morrow says:

    If only the U.S. Constitution had limited the vote and office holding at the federal level to ONLY those who have served honorably in the armed forces (but who were no longer in the service…the Robert Heinlein model), most of the problems that are dooming the USA would not exist!

    I have a dream…

  7. Dismas says:

    I wonder what percent of the vote comes from the military and their families? This may be a very good indicator as to the outcome of the Nov. elections? Please, God!

  8. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Dismas – that is, if the military personnel get to cast a vote. Some of these people go the distance to cast their votes only for it to get caught up in unethical “red tape”. It sickens me every election to hear about problems our service men and women have getting their votes counted.

    In the meanwhile, dead people are voting in Chicago and other places.

    If anyone should get to vote, those who served should be right at the top.

  9. AnAmericanMother says:

    The song (with different words) was part of the whole Sir Walter Scott Romantic Revival craze. It was a pop sensation right after the War of 1812, but it didn’t settle down as a standard until later.
    Btw, I’m not sure I believe the historian, it just doesn’t seem to line up with what I’ve read about Polk from first-hand accounts. My profs were big on original documents, and I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t trust secondary sources at all unless I can verify with original material. Too many people have unexpected axes to grind, and it wouldn’t be the first writer, eminent or otherwise, to succumb to the temptation to retail a juicy anecdote. Especially one that makes a president look petty and small — they seem to enjoy that way too much.

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    . . . dragging things back to the subject at hand . . .
    My son’s a Marine, and though he’s a loyal man and doesn’t badmouth the CiC, I can sense an undercurrent of frustration and even despair from him and his friends. They know that this president will not support them and definitely does NOT have their backs.
    A lot of good men will not re-up if there’s a second term. They’re tired of fighting without support and with no clear objective, and of being thrown under the bus when politically convenient.

  11. Vivus In Christo says:

    Wow! My husband was a Marine and I have to agree… Such a radically different response speaks VOLUMES (without saying a word).

  12. Bea says:

    One of my sons, too, is an ex-marine. I’ve got to send him this link and see what his reaction will be, though I can easily guess.

    Diane at Te Deum Laudamus:
    You took the words right out of my laptop pad.

  13. Papabile says:

    When Hail to the Chief is played the proper position is that of attention with a salute rendered.

    It’s not the most recent, but these are the regs which basically still govern. Do a search for Hail to the Chief.

  14. EXCHIEF says:

    A combat hardened troop is wise beyond his years. (S)he has learned to be a good judge of human character as his/her life and that of fellow soldiers depends on reading people and situations accurately. Unfortunately too many so-called military “leaders” today have put political correctness and, excuse the term, butt kissing above adherence to principle. Troops in the trenches however know the real meal deal–DubYa. They also recognize a guless imposter when they see one.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Will we ever get back our pride in the United States? Not until we have a different president. I am not sure where that candidate is hiding…

  16. guans says:
    went to the source, yep, they fessed up. Below the video they state the varying circumstances.

  17. Random Friar says:

    @Papabile: It seemed that the ranking military did applaud during it, and on departing, more of the less ranking joined in. It was a bit odd.

  18. Kerry says:

    When Barry departs for the very last time, the cheers will be tumultuous!

  19. rcg says:

    In President Obama’s defense, the Marines were at attention, for President Bush they were at ease. That probably says more about the way the presidents viewed the Marines than the other way ’round.

  20. MAJ Tony says:

    Bea, you’d be wise to never tell your son he’s an “ex-Marine.” I’m just a Dogface Soldier (Army) and I know better. Once a Marine, always a Marine. “Former Marine” is an acceptable term for a Marine not currently serving (veteran).

  21. traditionalorganist says:

    I was still in the Marines at the time of the Obama video, and I was stationed on Camp Lejeune very close to the gym where they held that speech. The whole occasion totally wreaked of politics, no actually troop leadership. My superiors asked me if I wanted to go to see the president, and I said no. If I was a civilian, I would have said “Hell no!” but certain rights go away when you sign the dotted line.

  22. tealady24 says:

    Very telling! How can anyone in their right mind even consider that loser from the wh??? He is everything we have been warned about.
    I guess that’s it; you have to be in a right mind, and half this nation is drug-obsessed in one way or another. Just look at all the commercials for relief from every little pain you might encounter in the course of your day. Instant gratification’s gonna getcha!

  23. ghp95134 says:

    @AnAmericanMother and Centristian;

    JSTOR preview:
    “Hail to the Chief”: The Origins and Legacies of an American Ceremonial Tune
    Elise K. Kirk
    American Music
    Vol. 15, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), pp. 123-136
    Published by: University of Illinois Press

    I’d wager she cites lots of primary sources; but, I don’t want to pay $14 to read the full article.

    Here’s a midi of the Scottish “Hail to the Chief:”


  24. JKnott says:

    The Marines and President Bush had something in common. They serve for love of country and freedom of democracy. It is not surprising that they cannot rally around a man with a different agenda.

    Churchill put it well. “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

  25. jflare says:

    I can’t stand Obama, but I agree with rcg: This difference in response does not, as shown, necessarily demonstrate enthusiasm vs disgust. Not directly anyway. One President had his staff arrange for Hail to the Chief to be played and the Marines to be at attention when he came in, the other allowed his staff to arrange for a more..boisterous..reception.

    I WILL suggest though, that the two Presidents very likely chose these differing approaches for obvious reasons. Bush, having been a reserve fighter pilot, could readily relate to the troops. Obama, having..his background..doesn’t “relate” to these kinds of troops so well.
    It DOES make one wonder whether a “different kind” of troop, one that Bill Ayers might like, for example, might respond differently.

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