Members of local law enforcement celebrate the 248th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps

From left: Georgia State Patrol Post 46 Commander Richard Thacker, Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman, Loganville Police Chief Dick Lowry, Monroe Police Chief R.V. Watts and Social Circle Police Chief Jason Guest at a United States Marine Corps 248th Birthday celebration in Social Circle. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (Nov. 10, 2023) Today is the the 248th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. But some members of local law enforcement got to celebrate a day early… in Social Circle.

It turns out that not only Walton County’s top law enforcement officials, but also many who serve in local law enforcement agencies, began their careers in service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Members of local law enforcement in Walton County who served in the U.S. Marine Corps gathered in Social Circle on Nov. 9, in celebration of the Corps 248th Birthday on Nov. 10, 2023. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

Social Circle Police Chief Jason Guest had a cake, and a celebration, on Thursday in honor of the U.S. Marine Corps birthday. In attendance were some of his fellow Marines, Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman, Monroe Police Chief R.V. Watts, Loganville Police Chief Dick Lowry and Georgia State Patrol Post 46 Commander Richard Thacker. Also in attendance were other members of the law enforcement agencies who served in the Marines before serving in local law enforcement.

According to, Nov. 10 is celebrated by those who served in the Marine Corps as if it was their own birthday, serving as a “yearly reminder of the brave spirit that has compelled young men and women to defend our nation and its interests for more than two centuries.”

In 1775, the Corps was formed in a Philadelphia tavern during the American Revolutionary War. Officials on hand at Thursday’s celebration in Social Circle noted that back in the day, there would have been plenty of alcohol on hand at any of the birthday celebrations. However, since those in attendance at this year’s celebration were technically still on duty, cake and sweet tea was the order of the day.

Guest welcomed those in attendance and each of them shared when and where they had served. There was a mixed response as to whether or not they would like their offspring to serve in the Marine Corps. But there also was immense pride from those who had children who were following in their footsteps as well as from others whose service was following in the footsteps of their own fathers who were in the Marine Corps.

It is comforting for the community to know that so many who serve the local community in law enforcement bring with them the experience that they gained in military service.

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